I am sure most of you have now read the articles regarding Nigerian President Goodluck Johnson’s legislation that not only bans same-sex marriage, but also criminalises any gay associations – including organisations that help with HIV/Aids-infected homosexuals. The punishment for homosexuality could result in up to 14 years in jail, public lashings (a 20-year-old man has already received 20 lashings for his “crime” committed seven years ago!), and even death by stoning.
Shock, horror, disgust, intense anger and sorrow are some of the emotions I felt when hearing of this news, but nothing could quite prepare me for the comments that followed. I would love nothing more than to personally take on each and every person behind the comments posted below (I certainly tried to!), but alas, time is not on my side. So I shall use this platform for two main reasons: to highlight the extreme ignorance of some, and to show how very easy it is to rebut such frighteningly illogical comments.
So without further adieu, let’s see just how disgusting some of our fellow human beings are... (These are direct quotes, but for the most part, I have edited the spelling and grammar to make it easier on the eyes.)
“God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.”
This has got to be the most original one I’ve seen! No, I’m kidding. It’s old and oh so tiresome. I quite like this humourous response: Well you certainly have no problem with Amanda and Eve when sitting alone in front of your computer on a Friday night! Because, let’s face it, a large portion of men who hate gays seem to have absolutely no problem with a bit of girl-on-girl action. But in all seriousness, the logic of this argument is flawed. If we have to follow the notion that everyone should be exactly like Adam and Eve, then I would expect the prejudice to extend to those who do not have the same hair/eye/skin colour as the first man and woman – whatever those might have been.
“I hope it won’t come to legalizing rape in the name of sexual freedom.”
“There is no such thing as rights for gays, murderers, rapist, thief, etc.”
Human rights are awarded to those who do not infringe on the rights of others – I agree that if you cause harm to another then your rights may be revoked. So let’s break it down:
· 1. People aren’t born as murderers; murderers make the choice to take someone’s life, thereby denying the victim his/her right to life, whilst causing pain to the victim’s family and friends who are left with the big gaping hole.
· 2. People aren’t born as thieves; thieves decide to take things which others have worked hard for, possibly causing damage to the victim’s property, invading their privacy and security, and potentially financially ruining the victim(s).
· 3. People aren’t born as rapists; rapists make the decision in life to forcefully hold someone down—or drug them—and forcibly rape them, clearly against their will. This traumatises the victim (and his/her loved ones) both physically and psychologically.
Homosexuals are born homosexual, just as heterosexuals are born heterosexuals and bisexuals are born with an attraction to both sexes. Simply being a homosexual does not hurt anyone, nor does it infringe on any other person’s human rights.
“If you want to allow gays then you should also allow bestiality and paedophiles.”
Err, excuse me, sir, but your ignorance is showing (how embarrassing!). The problem with this argument is that the person making it clearly does not understand the concept of consent. A paedophile—while he/she may be born this way—disregards the rights of the child victim and places his own sexual gratification above the rights of the child. When the child is crying or screaming during the ordeal, the perpetrator is fully aware that he/she is hurting the child, yet carries on. Paedophiles abduct, manipulate, abuse, threaten and hurt children who can not and do not consent to it.
In terms of bestiality, how is it possible for an animal to actually consent to sexual activity with a human?
And incest... well this is a whole other issue on its own, but we can note that the overwhelming majority of cases of incest involve manipulation, brainwashing and rape. I must admit though, that in the case of two adult cousins who are incestuous through no external force or manipulation, logic dictates that if they both consent to it, it should be allowed. This, however, is extremely rare.
Homosexuals—just like heterosexuals—will feel an attraction to a specific person, approach them, flirt, let the feelings develop, and eventually enter into a consensual relationship. No one gets hurt. No one’s rights are stamped on. Certain people may be into S&M while others may not see the appeal. That’s ok, you don’t have to like it, you just have to acknowledge that the two consenting adults have the right to do as they wish when they enter the bedroom.
“This is a great move President Jonathan. I just think South Africa can reconsider this same sex marriage. Just my opinion as I am entitled to freedom of expression.”
Oh the irony is strong with this one. I don’t even have to type a response.
“Lock them up forever and ever ....amen..if all our parents are same sex there will be no you and me today.”
Everyone is not suddenly going to magically turn gay and stop having children until all humanity has died out. And let’s not forget that that the procreating straight people are the ones making gay babies.
“Visit a nearest game reserve you won't see a nonsense like that……you will never see a male lion mating a male lion.”
We’re humans, not lions. I’ve never seen a lioness give a lion a blow job, so if this is the argument that this guy wants to take then I suggest he start a petition to outlaw oral sex as well. Lions also don’t live in houses with running water, nor do they use stoves to cook food, make money or go to school. I could go on forever…
Also, there actually are displays of homosexuality—or at least, bisexuality—in the animal kingdom.
“It is so un-African to be gay/lesbian it's a pure white thing and it was introduced to Africa by whites.”
You know what else is “un-African”? McDonald's. Electricity. Guns. Cars. This also applies to the ridiculous “it’s unnatural” argument; it is unnatural for people to fly, yet I don’t see anyone protesting airplanes and threatening to throw the manufacturers in jail or stone them to death. The major flaw in this type of argument is the incorrect assumption that natural equals right and good. Earthquakes are natural, are those good for us?*
Furthermore, if these people could just conduct the tiniest bit of research they’d learn that homosexuality has been around for a very long time, across the globe. There truly should be no need for me to recite the history of homosexuality here.
“That is not judging, but telling it as it is. Same sex marriage is ungodly, take it or leave it.”
“It was God, the father of Jesus, who declared that it is an abomination for a man to lie with a man. Whether we like it or not, homosexuality is evil - this being declared so by the one who created us.”
The problem with using religion—and more specifically, the Bible—to justify hate and prejudice towards homosexuals is that certain passages are selected whilst others are omitted to suit the individual’s twisted agenda. If you honestly want to live your life according to the Bible word-for-word, then what happened to “love thy neighbour”? I admit that this is also a tiresome argument, but we know that the bible also condones slavery, rape, wives submitting to husbands and the silencing of women. Thankfully, most people are wise enough to understand that times have changed and thus, the relevance of these archaic notions has been lost.
“Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman, and naturally ordered for procreation, education of children, well being of spouses, and to create families.”
“Besides, a union between a man and a man, or a woman and a woman is automatically sterile by nature. Therefore the natural tendency of such a union is not to create a family, but for the gratification of two individuals and therefore same sex union can not have the benefits of true marriage.”
As I replied to this commentator, as a woman, I am not merely a baby-making vessel. The sole purpose of marriage is not procreation; regardless of whether I am gay, straight, infertile or simply unwilling to have any children, my marriage will be legitimate.
“Rather a child should be raised by a single parent than a man and a man, or a woman and a woman who cannot even tell who is a mother or father between them. It doesn't matter if the homosexuals adopting the child are rich, no child should grow up under such condition.”
This fine commentator forgets to address the situation of negligent (or just plain crappy) heterosexual parents. It seems that to him, a heterosexual couple is the be-all and end-all. But ask an orphan which he or she would prefer: staying in an overcrowded, poor orphanage with limited attention, or go to a loving home (regardless of sexual orientation)?
And as for the child not knowing which is the mother or father – well, that’s just pure ignorance once again. Why must people be forced into gender roles? They can both be fathers, or both be mothers. Believe it or not, homophobes, but all gay men do not desire to be women, and all lesbians do not strive to be men.
“You idiots just can't understand that their culture does not condone such acts period. Cultural values are important.”
Ahhh, the ol’ it’s-their-culture argument. Preserving one’s culture certainly can be a very good and important thing, but once again, not when it is to the detriment of others. There exist some horrific cultural practices and traditions that include circumcision/female genital mutilation in a non-sterile environment; foot binding; cannibalism etc. All cultural practices are not necessarily worth preserving – in the interest of saving lives.*
The next few quotes I leave unedited, because they simply are un-editable – and I would like to end this off with a bang. In fact, they are even un-rebuttable. It boggles my mind how another person’s mind can think like this (these all came from the same person):
“u insert your reproductive organ into an excretory organ, I bet u are very intelligent to the extent that u eat faeces too, is that how u clean your organ after putting it in mud. Keep eating it and you will make babies.”
Ok, I have to say a quick something: many, many heterosexual couples engage in anal sex too – it certainly is not limited to gay men only. And eating faeces? Ugh. The immaturity here is astounding.
“I'm a more superior human being than you gays.”
“Pliz get angry again and start swearing, you savage, just like a wild animal, it will make me laugh coz I'm superior than you!”
“U are the bych coz u let another man f@#k u, lol. You got no IQ bych coz you think with your emotions and buttocks!!!”
“to bad you can't change it or make a difference, keep mourning and attacking me bych, it won't change anything!!!”
* G.E. Moore’s naturalistic fallacy or David Hume’s is-ought problem will back me up here; just because something is this way, does not mean it ought to be this way.)