Opinion: Anti-gay law – Must we share a thing with them to stand for them?

by Kingsley Ahanonu


If God, in his wisdom, could grant man the freewill, as evident in nature, to make his choices- good or evil, why shouldn’t man, in so much as it’s non-encroaching and does not contravene the positive law, which arbitrarily is the jurisprudence of man, society? Anything further is ‘acting God’–an usurpation. This is what most of us fail to understand.

Since the publication of the open letter I wrote Mr. President, I have not ceased to receive reactions. Some of the ones I’ve read point to the fact that most Nigerians are still adrift of the essence of my take on the issue. It is in expounding the template of my stand and enlightening all in a bid to correct the erroneous impressions held by the many, that this follow-up became necessary.

The ripostes cum rejoinders I have received so far have, in a great deal, brought to the fore the reasons for the simmering detest of
homosexuals by Nigerians; they have in addition, exposed the fluidity of such rationales. As such, it became of a heightened necessity to correct the gaping lacuna and naivety in such misguided rooted impressions.

To appreciably come to terms with the true meaning of this corrigendum, I beg to add that a concerted effort must be made towards having a mindset devoid of prejudice in order not to misconstrue my stand.

In discussing, I admit the risk of repetitions.

In going into the motive of this piece, which centrally seeks to clear up the mist over the heated debate, an understanding of morality vis-a-vis natural law with a concerned focus on the issue at stake would be given paramount consideration. This is because it not only forms the basis of my argument but had also stood as the props of the lines of argument of the many homophobic interlocutors, who are maniacally and robotically in support of the law.

Firstly, we begin the discourse by asserting that nature itself is a weave of morality; nature is ordinarily responsive to true moral values. As such, the goal of established law of nature is to placate the inherent moral dictates.

Morality, as we would understand, acknowledges the earnest place of permitted will in the decision taking of any individual person; it recognizes and permits one’s right to choose. It is against the backdrop of the natural law that a truly moral person, guided by conscience, is determined. The conscience-driven individual does not rely on the wielding of threat to pursue right values and/or reprove the wrongs. In the words of David Hoy, in his Post-critique on Post-structuralism (2004), ‘that acts are once obligatory and at the same time unenforceable is what places them in the realm of the ethical.’

And morality, we know, is the antecedent of ethics. Consequently, in the law of morality hence, the natural law, an individual owes it as a responsibility to himself and his conscience to be steered by its provisions; the consequences being self-borne. Nature wouldn’t victimize one for knowingly engaging in coital interruption or the use of contraceptives to truncate its approved process of procreation; though they are affronts to its course. It has its methodology of recompense, which it would evince at its appropriate time. Man should not be seen to fast-track it.

However, the positive law became necessitated to curb man’s excesses and spurring veer to extend influence into the others purview, in a bid to grease his lascivious ego. If man was left in the state which nature had ordained, there is the tendency to abuse such freewill; the conventional law was put in place to avert such derailment.

Hence, the essence of the positive law would be to sanction wrongs whose motives are the encroaching and invasion of the privileges of the next neighbour; otherwise, it is left for nature or God, as the case may be, to adjudicate.

In all these, I stand to be disputed.

If God, in his wisdom, could grant man the freewill, as evident in nature, to make his choices- good or evil, why shouldn’t man, in so much as it’s non-encroaching and does not contravene the positive law, which arbitrarily is the jurisprudence of man, society? Anything further is ‘acting God’–an usurpation. This is what most of us fail to understand.

Having said this, it would be more prudential to treat the issue of homosexuality in view of above light, by piecemeal.

Many of the enthusiasts of this law that deliberately seeks to vilify a segment of the society do so in ignorance with the view that it is an upshot of western influence. What a heavily flawed claim. How, for goodness sake, can a biological trait be topographically genealogic?

Nigeria, like every other nation, has its own fair share of the variability that is nature; of which gaiety stands as one. The assertion that the Nigerian display of same-sex drive is a copy of the western culture is merely an expressed opinion that falls short of fact.

More so, I disagree with the assertion that homosexual tendency is unnatural. One funny thing with the rule of morality that must be accepted is that it allows for freewill. And so, the dependent on ‘unnaturalness’ as the fulcrum for vilification does not count to placate rationality. And I guess one day, the law would come up also to bar men from plaiting hairs under the premise that it’s ‘uncultural and unnatural’ or criminalise pride on the ground that it’s ‘immoral’?

It would be spurious to contemplate equating homosexuality with crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping or even pedophilia, as some would want to assert. As against the recourse to gaiety, which is a wrong against self, the foregoing are invasive and against will; they intrude into personal privileges and are non consensual. Hence, the law would be apropos in acting to curtail such excesses.

The most appalling indeed, is the attack against personality. Beyond the fact that it negates the principle of relevance in valid argument, it clearly stands as a misconstruction that it is only victims that could speak against their victimization. And I ask: must one share a thing with them to stand for them? If so then, I speak for them because I share the true essence of humanity with them; as such, they deserve my emphatic identification. And even if they aren’t humans, as some derogatorily posit, I still speak for them because I stand against all forms of indignity and injustice.

And against this backdrop, I could only dissuade them convincingly and not by frigid coercion. On this, I’ll return to later. But this is what the law cannot achieve. Instead, it exposes them to brazen hatred and dehumanization. The enactment of this law merely gives a legal credence to the subjugation and intimidation of these people.

God himself is not a sovereign of imposition; this is proved in God recognition of permitted will. He lets man know what is good and what is evil together with their consequences, lucidly stated; it is up to man to choose. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they acted on the basis of this freewill and so they only had themselves to hold culpable for the resultant calamities. What else could be more unnatural that going against this sovereign principle?

The church, against the light of advancing homophobia and as a moral beacon must come to play its role in leading all to moral values. But she must do so in line with God’s modus operandi. Talk lovingly to homosexuals on the dangers and eternal consequences inherent in it, condemn the act, admonish them to follow the righteous path and leave them to act their decisions (John 8:7-11).

This approach does not portray the church in the light of being for a sin but it places her as an institution sympathetic to the sinner and helping him overcome it just as Christ did and wills.

Anyone who professes to be a true man (or child) of God would not in a bit applaud the practice of same-sex. However, the integrity in the claim of any child of God is called to question if such supports the victimization and denial of the freewill of gays; as they negate the principles of God.

For this, I feel dismayed at the responses of some supposed ‘men of God’ in condemning homosexuals and giving ecclesiastical endorsement to the draconian legislation and in not upholding their banner as reps of Christ.

Agreed, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for their sinfulness. But, to claim that homosexuality was the only sinful reason for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 10:13) and even Noah’s days (Gen. 6:11-13) would be the height of deceit and hypocrisy. For, if going by such erroneous supposition, the whole of the inhabitants of Sodom were all gays that God couldn’t find up to ten straights to spare the land (Gen. 18:32)?

Homosexuality is a sin and like every other unrighteous leanings will eventually be rewarded with the damning perdition that awaits every sinful adulation. But to attach differences to sins based on ‘unnaturalness’ and sundry criteria, I take exception.

To kids’ concern, then. A child that is trained based on sound values will detest vehemently any of such advances and would go to report any of such attempts on him, knowing that it is wrong. So, the fear of our children being at risk, as some might aver, does not hold. The call as ever is for parents to do the needful in exerting more their responsibility of bringing up their wards on sound morals. This will better guard them against paederasts or paedophiles and child abusers of all kinds.

Finally, in as much as God grants them the freewill to do as they wish, it remains his earnest desire that they refrain from it and all
unrighteousness and come to him; the law must also recognize this essence.

My call therefore, is for homosexuals and all SINNERS alike to repent not only because it’s immoral but because it’s anti-God. Whether or not the personal immoral lure is in the eyes of the storm, as this callous enactment has so selectively situated homosexuality, but because they offend the intents of the creator, it would be imminent to make a defining turn-around.

Even as I can’t appreciably come to terms on why a sane person should be seen eating on while walking; with a similar awkward view in a man amorously linked to his fellow, I still don’t understand on why a law is required to compel both into acting appropriately against their wishes. Nonetheless, it would be necessarily proper for the law to exact its duty to adjudicate on the issue of homosexuality only if there is a case of unsolicited approach by homosexuals, because by then is its jurisdictional sphere tampered with.

These have being my points and I do wish Nigerians understand them.



Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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