Saturday, 17 December 2011

Debunking the myths: Is decriminalizing Homosexuality a slippery slope towards endorsing Pedophilia, Rape and Bestiality?


It seems no debate on human rights of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals is complete without the inevitable snide remark - “If homosexuals are entitled to human rights, rapists, pedophiles and people who sleep with animals will start claiming human rights violations too”!

Why do homophobes always feel the need to mention sex with animals when commenting on LGBT rights issues? How is Homosexuality and sex with animals, rape or pedophilia the same thing? Isn't it time people moved away from the unjustifiable, illogical sentiments and address real issues? Well, if only just to save me from making same comments over and over again, I have decided to write a post on my blog and just copy and paste whenever this is raised again and I am sure it would be raised again and again,  especially on my facebook page, at least a link to some clarifications should give my fingers a much needed respite!

Rape
Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent. The term is most often defined in criminal law. A person who commits an act of rape is known as a Rapist. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAPE 

Sexual orientation i.e. Homosexuality, Bisexuality, Pansexuality, Asexuality or Gender identity has nothing to do with SEXUAL HARASSMENT. If anyone grabs your ass in public or even in private WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT, it does not matter whether the person is a man or a woman; it is sexual harassment and assault. Gender or Sexual Orientation is not what determined if you had been sexually harassed or molested, LACK OF CONSENT is the determining factor and it is a criminal offense to sexually, assault, harass or abuse anyone. So, what connection does a loving relationship between consenting adults have with RAPE? Read my lips, NONE!

Pedophilia
Pedophilia as a medical diagnosis is defined as a psychiatric disorder in adults or late adolescents (persons age 16 or older) typically characterised by a primary or exclusive sexual interest in prepubescent children (generally age 13 years or younger, though onset of puberty may vary). In popular usage, pedophilia means any sexual interest in children or the act of child sexual abuse, often termed "pedophilic behavior." For example, The American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary states, "Pedophilia is the act or fantasy on the part of an adult of engaging in sexual activity with a child or children." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedophillia . What connection (if at all) do consenting same sex adults who want to live their lives together have with a pedophile ? Read my lips again, NONE!

BESTIALITY
 Masters (1962) uses the term "bestialist" specifically in his discussion of zoosadism, which refers to deriving sexual pleasure from cruelty to animals. Stephanie LaFarge, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the New Jersey Medical School, and Director of Counseling at the ASPCA, writes that two groups can be distinguished: bestialists, who rape or abuse animals, and zoophiles, who form an emotional and sexual attachment to animals http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestiality. As Wiki puts it “Zoophilia ... is the practice of sex between humans and non-human animals (bestiality), or a preference or fixation on such practice. People who practice zoophilia are known as zoophiles.

There is a very big difference between same sex consensual relationship and bestiality. One is about emotional/sexual consensual human beings the other is about sex with animals. I know animals are not legal entities, they cannot give consent.  If you wanted to argue BESTIALITY is a sexual orientation, try and get scientific evidence to back up your claim, and oh… you would need to bring along the people around YOU that love having sex with animals, your friends who are planning to ask for sexual right to have sex with animals, because scientists would need them for the research, that is if that research had not already been done and concluded a long time ago.

Wake up homophobes, there really is a difference between consensual relationship with another adult and a sexual encounter with an animal. Why do you think it is possible to be charged to court for rape but not possible to be charged to court for raping an animal? This is simply because the determining factor in a rape case is consent; a human being can give or withhold consent, an animal cannot. Therefore having sex with an animal is known as animal abuse or BESTIALITY.
Discussions and debates on Homosexuality, Bisexuality and Transsexuals is about consensual adult human relationships, not about Human and Animals. If you wish to discuss BESTIALITY and ZOOPHILIA, why not start another thread on that, and we can argue the pros and cons logically? Right now, this post is about CONSENTING SAME SEX ADULT RELATIONSHIP, is that really too difficult to understand? (Yeah, this part is for the “what about bestiality” buggers on my facebook page!) 

SIMPLY NO COMPARISON!    
SEXUAL ORIENTATION describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to the opposite sex, the same sex, both, or neither, and the genders that accompany them. By the convention of organised researchers, these attractions are subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and asexuality. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_orientation 
  • RAPE is the act of forcing someone into having sex without CONSENT; it is a sexual assault, in most cases a VIOLENT ACT.
  •    PEDOPHILIA is the act of having sexual intercourse with a child, an underage 
  •   BESTIALITY is the practice of sex between humans and non-human animals 
  •    SAME SEX relationships are emotional, sexual relationships between CONSENTING ADULTS of the same sex.
 How could any sane human being compare a violent, non consensual act that inflicts harm on its victim to consensual adult relationship? 
Does my having a relationship with another consenting female makes me a Rapist, Pedophile or Bestialist? How does my having sexual relationship with another woman causes you or the society any harm? 
Why is it so difficult for homophobes to accept that what consenting adults do in the privacy of their rooms is not the business of the law or any other individuals aside from the parties IN the relationship?

ARE HOMOSEXUALS AND BISEXUALS ASHAMED TO COME OUT?
With the stigmatisation, victimisation and discrimination of sexual minorities in the society, is it any surprise that many gays and lesbians are not eager to come out of the closet and shout their sexual preference from on top the mountains? The few Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals who attended the public hearing on the Anti Same Sex Marriage bill in Abuja, Nigeria were bullied, harassed and almost beaten up by religious groups right inside the National Assembly while the senators happily watched! Read full report here.

Also, history and experience have shown that a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Witch (WICCAN), Buddhist, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa or any other marginalised persons would hide their identity if caught in an environment that would victimise them for their self identity. For example in a religious, race or ethnic war, likely victims would hide for safety, not because they think they are morally wrong but simply for survival.

Nigerian Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals are not in hiding because they are ashamed BUT because their life is in danger! I was an out and open bisexual while in Nigeria, but I could afford to be open because I was in the trade union movement, a National Executive Member of Labour party and an established human right activist. I know my rights, I have human resources to fight for my rights, not many lesbians and gays in Nigeria are that privileged!  

In some countries, laws are in place to help victims of discrimination, in many countries especially African countries; we do not have Equal Rights Acts or equality laws that protect sexual minorities. Also the legal cost is often too expensive for many to be able to challenge discrimination, and the court process can be very tedious. All these factors make it difficult for victims of discrimination to seek redress in a court of law and the perpetrators of these injustices are therefore empowered to keep on oppressing the helpless.

The Nigeria 'Anti Same Sex Marriage' bill only serves to drive people further into the closets. LGBTs in Nigeria are in hiding not because they think their sexual orientation is morally wrong but because they could lose their life. However, we should continue to fight for an enabling environment that would allow everyone enjoy their human rights as far as it harms no other person.


Mentally Challenged and a disorder?
How does being a proponent of same sex marriage make one "mentally challenged”? The fact that two consenting adults love themselves so much that they want to spend the rest of their lives together, legally married, is such an abhorrent thought for some people  that they consider proponents of same sex marriage "mentally challenged”. 

Who defines human sexuality? No one defines human sexuality, Scientists including, doctors, Psychologists, biologists and anthropologists usually conduct researches to understand human sexuality. It is the evidence of these researches that provides us a definition or better  UNDERSTANDING of human sexuality and that basically is how science works in almost all facets of life. 

There is personal reality and there is social reality. My reality is not necessarily the reality of others. For example, my personal reality is that I am bisexual; I am sexually attracted to both and/or All genders. The Social reality of my community is that my sexuality is criminalised. Homosexuality is a crime, this is an unfortunate social reality. Atheism is considered madness, which is another social reality. Does it mean social reality is the correct and acceptable reality?

REALITY only defines the state of things; it does not have anything to do with right or wrong.  I cannot run away from social realities but I can fight to demand a change in my social reality, just like SLAVERY was once the accepted social reality of blacks and other coloured people, this social reality has changed.

HETEROSEXUALITY IS ONLY COMMON NOT NORMAL!
 Heterosexuality is only common not normal. "NORMAL" implies the way things should be, since there are other types of sexual orientation like homosexuality, bisexuality, pansexuality, asexuality, we cannot define one as normal without implying that other types of sexual orientation are abnormal. Also, what was once considered normal could later be considered abnormal, e.g. the killing of twins, slavery, belief in witchcraft, gods and female genital mutilation were all once considered normal, but with changing times, many of these are now considered ABNORMAL and some are going through critical lens views.

Heterosexuality is common NOT because it is normal, but because it is widely practiced, being widely practiced does not make it normal in the biological sense. In the cultural context, normal is fluid and could change with time.

Those who view two men holding hands or kissing in public as a pervert act need to emancipate themselves from mental slavery! The fact is, when same sex consenting adults are in a relationship, they exhibit the same traits when they are in love as heterosexual couples; it does not matter whether it is with same sex gender or opposite sex. You only see an imaginary difference because your brain is socially programmed to believe that only opposite sex partners should be in a sexual relationship. Until you break that shackle of limitation placed on your brain by societal expectation especially influenced by religion, you won’t be able to explore and reach your full potential as a human being.

If you are heterosexual, spare a minute to ask yourself what your reaction would be if:-
  •  You were told that you cannot hold hands with your lover in public
  •  You cannot marry the love of your life
  •  You would lose your job if you declared that you have an opposite sex partner 
  • You cannot form an organisation to support a man and woman relationship
  • You are banned from entering a club because of who you love
  • Your landlord could evict you if you were suspected of having  a relationship with an adult
  • You can be stoned to death if you have sex with your opposite sex partner.                                     Would you just shrug your shoulders and declare that there are more important things in life than the freedom to love and marry consensual adults or would you declare a war on your dictatorial government? Tell me these are not fundamental violations of your rights, then maybe I will consider keeping quiet about my Right to Life! 
 If after being confronted with the scientific evidence that Homosexuality is not a disease or a disorder and is infact as natural as skin colour,  eye colour or left handedness but for religious, personal or cultural beliefs, you still chose to ignore all the evidence provided and still demand  that Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals be victimised and criminalised for engaging in a consensual same sex adult relationship that cause no harm to anyone, then you are the one who has a PHOBIA, it is known as Homophobia, it is a disorder. Education, enlightenment, an open mind, tolerance and acceptance are known cures, if all these failed, request for a brain transplant or just grow a brain!

CAN’T OR WON'T ACCEPT HOMOSEXUALS?
As an adult, I am sure you do not need anyone’s approval before you go on a date with your partner or marry the love of your life. It is also the same way homosexuals do not need your approval or consent to date or marry the love of their life. Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transsexuals have the same Human Rights every other adult human being has. Love should not be criminalised.

I might not like the girl you are dating, I might not like the way you have sex with her, I might not even like the way you two kiss in public, but IT IS NOT MY BUSINESS! I cannot stop your love, you do not need my approval and you do not need me to poke my nose in your bedroom affairs... just the same way I do not need you to dictate to me who I can or cannot love or marry. Respect is reciprocal. What consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom is not the business of the law.

People have a right to disagree and are also entitled to their opinion but NO ONE is entitled to his/her own sets of facts. We need FACTS to arrive at a logical conclusion. It is factual truths that should guide our beliefs and opinions, and the facts here are:-

  •           Anti same sex laws already exist in Nigeria and these laws are discriminatory, unjust and unfair
  •          The new bill aims to FURTHER criminalise same sex relationships
  •          The existing anti same sex laws and the new bill violates human rights of Lesbians, Gays , Bisexuals and Transsexuals in Nigeria
  •           Everyone, whether in the minority or in the majority, deserves full citizenship protection and respect of person and dignity without discrimination based on race, gender, birth or sexual orientation
  •          This bill should be OPPOSED by all human rights defenders because an injury to one is an injury to all.
  •           Oh please, do I still need to spell it out to you that Armed robbery, Rape, Pedophilia  and Bestiality are violent, non consensual actions that are harmful to the society? NO, these are not the same as homosexuality!   Now, repeat after me-  Homosexuality is not the same thing as Rape, Pedophilia or Bestiality. OK, Good!
 
Some Nigerians are Gays, GET OVER IT! Enjoy your life; just don't try to tell me how to live mine. Live and let’s live and stop Judging, stop quoting Sodom and Gomorrah to me, people do have a choice to choose whether to go to hell or heaven, if they believed that crap. So stop telling us we are going to burn in hell for our homosexuality because that only makes you a bigot and hateful person!

The fact is, every human being has the tendency to Love or Hate but it is wrong when we hate others simply because they come from a particular ethnic group, have a certain skin colour, hair colour, or because of their sexual orientation. We should learn to move beyond hate, open our mind, be objective, see things from different perspectives and come to conclusions that help move humanity forward not backwards.

We are a SINGLE human race, from one big African tree, with branches that have taken roots in different colours, shapes and sizes, spread across oceans and lands. Let us care about our planet, other earthlings, and every human, including Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transsexuals. We will continue to shine the light of positive reasoning and hope our light of love and knowledge would overshadow homophobic darkness.

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4 comments:

  1. Fantastic article Yemmy. Very well articulated. As an ex-pat in Nigeria I was really surprised to see the homophobic articles and news in the papers. When one has fought hard for freedom one would think that it would be easy to understand the right to choice.....anyways more power to your voice and your pen!!

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    1. Thanks. The homophobic situation in Nigeria is quite alarming and it is quite shocking that many 'educated' Nigerians still think homosexuality is a violent, non consensual, criminal act to be compared with Rape, Pedophilia or bestiality!

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