Resolution 32/2 adopted by the Human Rights Council on 30th June 2016 was a huge victory for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. It called on the protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It stressed the need to maintain joint ownership of the international human rights agenda and to consider human rights issues in an objective and non-confrontational manner. It also undertook to support a broad and balanced agenda, and to strengthen the mechanisms addressing issues of importance including fighting racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in all their forms. It reiterated the importance of respective regional, cultural and religious value systems as well as particularities in considering human rights issues.

This resolution deplored the use of external pressure and coercive measures against States particularly developing countries, including through the use and threat of use of economic sanctions and the application of conditionality to official development assistance, with the aim of influencing the relevant domestic debates and decision-making processes at the national level. It underlined that it should be implemented while ensuring respect for the sovereign right of each country as well as its national laws, development priorities, the various religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of its people, and should also be in full conformity with universally recognized international human rights.

This resolution then made history by, for the first time ever, creating the mandate of an Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The resolution was however heavily contested with Saudi Arabia requesting a no-action motion saying that motion was a last attempt to make co-sponsors understand the consequences of this deeply divisive proposal that failed to recognize cultural differences.  They said that the draft was contrary to international human rights law and would disregard the universality of human rights. Nigeria supported the no-action motion saying that the draft was divisive and was concerned that the lack of definitions of sexual orientation and gender identity and the attached human rights and fundamental freedoms carried certain responsibility for States. They said that the controversial views of those issues could not be imposed by some Member States and that the adoption of the resolution would ensure that the attention on sexual orientation and gender identity issues as seen by the Western States would take root in the United Nations, without taking into account the views of a large number of States.

A myriad of amendments that would have weakened the resolution were tabled most of which were rejected by The Council and those that were accepted, actually increased the scope of the resolution. This resolution not only faced opposition from within the Human Rights Council, but also from a section of civil society who were concerned, understandably so, that the creation of a mandate on sexual orientation and gender identity would undermine the intersectionalities of struggle that exist within our society. This matter was heavily debated and I do not believe that there will ever be a consensus on it, as with most civil rights issues. The resolution passed with 23 states voting in favor, 18 (including Kenya) voting against and 6 abstentions (most notable of the abstentions being South Africa, a State that was previously seen as a beacon of hope for LGBT people what with it having constitutional protection everyone regardless of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity).

The reason why I give such a detailed background on Resolution 32/2 is because this historic resolution is under threat. I realize “threat” may be a rather strong word but that is essentially what the African Group is doing. The African Group has proposed a resolution that seeks to “…defer consideration of and action on Human Rights Council resolution 32/2…on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in order to allow time for further consultations to determine the legal basis upon which the mandate of the special procedure established therein will be defined.”

Speaking on behalf of the African Group, the Permanent Representative to the United Nations for Botswana expressed deep concern over attempts to introduce and impose new notions and concepts that were not internationally agreed upon, particularly in areas where there was no legal foundation in any international human rights instruments. The African Group was even more disturbed at attempts to focus on certain persons on the grounds of their sexual interests and behaviors, while ignoring that other types of intolerance and discrimination regrettably still existed. While deploring all forms of stereotyping, exclusion, stigmatization, prejudice, intolerance, discrimination, hate speech and violence, the African Group stated that adoption of resolution 32/2 would be at the detriment of issues of paramount importance, such as the right to development. The African Group also believes that notions of sexual orientation and gender identity should not be linked to existing international human rights instruments. They then called for the suspension of the appointed Independent Expert’s activities, pending the determination of clarity on the issue.

While a call for deferment of consideration of and action on the resolution may not technically be a no-action motion, it effectively does exactly what a no-action motion would do. The resolution by the African Group as drafted does not give a time period for the deferment and what it does is indefinitely defer any action on resolution 32/2. One of the mandates of the Independent Expert is to address the multiple, intersecting and aggravated forms of violence and discrimination faced by persons on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Look at the hundreds of LGBT people who have died in violent attacks all over the world including in Cameroon, Kenya and South Africa. Some of these violent attacks go unreported because of the stigma that comes with being LGBT.

Sexual orientation and gender identity are not new notions. They may be recent terms but people have had different sexual orientations and gender identities the world over, including in Africa since time immemorial. We have contributed to the society’s development, we are your brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, we are your friends and neighbors and we cannot change who we are. Yet we constantly face violence and threats of violence due to the fact that we are of a sexual orientation or gender identity that is different. The intolerance and discrimination that we face is just as real as any other intolerance and discrimination that exists in our society. We face those too. Resolution 32/2 as I mentioned earlier supports the strengthening of mechanisms that address these intolerance and discrimination.

Notions of sexual orientation and gender identity are linked to International Human Rights Instruments. There is a legal foundation for the mandate of Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As Arvind Narrain says in his blog post about South Africa, The principle of universality of rights and the principle of non-discrimination on any status are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the ICCPR. Further the Human Rights Council under OP2 of GA resolution 60/251 has the responsibility for “promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner.” We should not face violence or discrimination not because we are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, but because we are human beings, and any measure taken to address this violence and discrimination should not be opposed but supported in every way.

This is therefore a plea to the Africa Group. While you propose to defer action on resolution 32/2, hundreds of LGBT Africans are facing violence, discrimination and even death on the grounds of their sexual orientation and gender identity. While you call for the suspension of the appointed Independent Expert’s activities, hundreds of citizens in your countries are being beaten in the streets, face mental anguish due to stigma and are even facing corrective rape. Resolution 32/2 respects the sovereign right of each country as well as its national laws, development priorities, the various religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of its people. It is rooted, in its entirety, under International Human Rights Instruments. Your proposed resolution not only ignores the lived reality of LGBT citizens of your countries but also undermines the mandate of the Human Rights Council. Please don’t let your citizens down.

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I write to you as a fellow proud African. A citizen of your neighbour country, Kenya. A person who has visited and loves the beauty that your country has to offer; the mountains, the lakes, the parks and most of all, the people. The unmistakably Tanzanian politeness makes me cringe every time I come back to Nairobi and see how we Kenyans relate to each other. And before any Kenyan reading this gets on the defensive, I should tell you, I am as Kenyan as we come. I am a gay man. At this point, you may want to stop reading this and dismiss it as western propaganda but I urge you to read on. It will only take a few minutes of your time and I assure you, this is far from any western propaganda.

The reason I write to you is because I have watched in awe how your government and a section of the Tanzanian population has been treating people of different sexual orientation and gender identity. From calling for their arrest to stopping the supply of lubricant to having sections of the society call for murder. This is a sad and scary trend and is no way for a society to treat a section of itself.

I’ll start by saying that the Tanzanian population (and in the same way, the Kenyan and Ugandan populations) has within it, people who are black, white, left handed, right handed, living with disabilities, living with albinism, gay, lesbian, transgender, intersex among many other identities. These people have existed in our society since time immemorial (except perhaps the white people who have also been a part of the human race). Homosexuality was not introduced by the west. Anthropological studies (which you may very well dismiss as western propaganda) have shown the existence of people of different sexual orientations and gender identities even before colonization. There are so many resources with this information and please feel free to contact me for links to them.

Having said that, you twitted yesterday, “I am a social justice activist. I am a professional. I know those stuffs. Same sex inclinations are not natural!” Allow me to tell you my story. A story that is the same for many, if not all, gay and lesbian people. At no point in my life did I make the choice to be attracted to people of the same sex as I am. As I grew up and began understanding myself and learnt about what sex is and what the feelings I had were, I realized that unlike the rest of the boys I grew up with, I was not attracted to girls. I am sure that the scenario is the same for people who are attracted to those of the opposite sex. You don’t decide to choose your attraction, you just have it. In my case, I tried to be different. I tried to fit in to what society wants me to be. It did not work. I prayed on it. I contemplated hurting myself. I finally got to the point of accepting that this is who I am. That was the only choice I made, not to be gay but to accept myself for who I am.

I was brought up in a Christian family. Most people in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya were brought up in families of a certain religion. Most religions in one way or another condemn homosexuality. If my sexual orientation was determined by how I was nurtured, I would not have turned out to be what I am. My parents brought me up in a society that vilified me for the feelings I have towards other men. Feelings I cannot control. To this day, my mother does not like that I have these feelings. But there is nothing I can do about them. There is nothing any gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person can do about the person they are. We are all as we are.

If you ever sat down with members of the community and listened, and I mean really listened to their stories, you will realize that my story resonates with them. Unfortunately, some of us never got to the point of self-acceptance. Some of us hated themselves so much that they decided that it would be better if they didn’t exist in this world any more. A world that hates them for who they love. A world that discriminates against them in access to opportunities because of the gender they identify with. A world that has government officials declaring them worse than terrorists and calling for their arrest and murder due to something they have no control over. These people took their own lives. Lives that might have amounted to so much had society allowed them a chance to prove themselves worthy.

Banning of the supply of lubricants will not curb homosexuality in any way. What that does, and as a medical doctor I am sure you understand is increase the number of risky sexual practices. Use of condoms without lubricant or using condoms with oil based lubricant will increase the risk of the condom breaking and increase the risk of transmission of HIV and other STIs. Now you may say that banning distribution of lubricant will stop people from having sex but that would be burying your head in the sand. People will still have sex and unfortunately the sex will be risky sex. Let me quote some statistics. As of 2015, There were 1.4 million people living with HIV with the number of new infections being 54,000. That accounts for 5% of the Tanzanian population. HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men was 22.2% and heterosexual sex accounted for the vast majority (80%) of all HIV infections in your country with women being particularly affected. Now due to the crackdown on the LGBTI community, men who have sex with men will try, like I did, to fit in to the society. They will get into sexual relationships and marry women but that will not stop them from having sex with other men. With the risk brought on by the banning of lubricants, HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men is going to increase from the 22.2% and the attempt by this population to adhere to society’s norm will increase the risk of transmission to women and other heterosexual men and the vicious cycle continues.

In your tweets yesterday you kept repeating that Tanzania has not signed the “Kyogo Protocol”. I have searched all over and haven’t encountered a Kyogo Protocol. I did find a Kyoto Protocol which has nothing to do with homosexuality but all to do with climate change. What I have found however is the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Tanzania is a state party to this Covenant. It says that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. Having said that, the protection of the rights of every citizen of Tanzania, Uganda or Kenya should not be hinged on the ratification of any international instrument. It should come from us as human beings. We will never all be the same. We do not all subscribe to the same religion, we are not all of the same skin colour, we are not all of the same sexual orientation or gender identity. The one thing that binds us all together is the fact that we are all human beings. Our differences are what makes our society beautiful. We should all strive to understand our differences and accept them as a part of what our society is. That way, in the spirit of Ubuntu, we shall all live in harmony.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at oluoch@gmail.com should you wish to engage in further conversations. I am sure there are many other Tanzanian individuals who would wish to tell you their story. Allow them to. Understand where they come from and the struggles they have to go through on a daily basis because of something they have absolutely no control over and think about what you as a leader, as a deputy minister for health and as a human being can do to improve the lives of not only the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in your country but the general population.

Sincerely,

Anthony Oluoch

Just how many lives need to be senselessly lost before we as human beings start treating each other better? How many families are we willing to destroy in the name of “morality”? What is “moral” about beating a person to death because of something he has absolutely no control over? Which are these African values that we so earnestly yearn to preserve that justify the level of violence that is faced by gay and lesbian people in this continent? Are we not all African regardless of the differences that we all have? Are we not a part of this incredibly diverse society? What gives you the right to take my life or deprive me of employment or evict me from my dwelling place just because I love differently?

We will now never know what Akinnifesi Olumide Olubunmi would have brought to this world. His life was taken by people who felt that he didn’t deserve to live a full life because he was gay. His life was taken in the cruellest of ways. I keep wondering what must have gone through his mind in his last moments. Was he grateful to have been taken out of a world where fellow human beings hate him and others like himself so? Was he forgiving of his attackers? Did he regret that he chose to live his life authentically? Did he curse his maker for having feelings he couldn’t control that caused him the pain he must have gone through?

I’d like to think that in his last moments, in all the pain he must have been going through, in all the psychological torture he must have been going through, I’d like to think that he forgave his attackers. That he prayed that what happened to him does not happen to any other person. I’d also like to ask those who are saying that he deserved to die to think about his last moments. To think about the fact that this person could have been your brother, your father, your uncle or your best friend. Just think about what would be going through that person’s mind.

We are all human beings. We are all different. It is that difference that makes this world a beautiful place. Let’s embrace it. Let’s not hate others simply for loving differently. No good ever comes of hate and violence. Love always wins.

Rest in Peace Akinnifesi Olumide Olubunmi. You are in a better place.

As much as the literacy rate in Kenya is far better than in most other African countries, quality education is something hard to come by. Most students graduate from school with degrees upon degrees but unable to apply what they’ve learned in school to help better their living conditions. About 50% of the entire Kenyan populace live below poverty line according to the new multidimensional poverty index with the unemployment rate around hovering around 40%.
Although youth education especially girl-child education is helping a lot in breaking the cycle of new HIV/AIDS infections in Kenya, the number of children orphaned by HIV in Kenya is as high as 1. 3 million.
 
Like in most African countries, about a large percentage of the total population of Kenya are subsistence farmers who grow crops and rear animals just to feed themselves and their families and in times of crop failure, most of these families go starving. The unpredictable climatic conditions in Kenya sometimes worsen the situation. From the tropical regions along the coast to the arid interior regions of Kenya, natural havocs such as recurring drought and unpredictable flooding during the rainy seasons sometimes put many rural families in nothing but absolute poverty.
Corruption and poor leadership are the other major concerns faced by Kenyans. Corruption in Kenya has become so bad that citizens consider corruption a “normal” part of everyday life. Incompetent leadership and poor governance continue to tear Kenya into pieces.
On the 16th of May 2014, twin explosions at Gikomba market claimed the lives of more than 10 Kenyans. On the 4th of May 2014, homemade bombs were exploded on two commuter buses on the Thika Highway in Nairobi killing 3 Kenyans and injuring at least 62 others. On the 3rd of May 2014, twin terrorist attacks in Mombasa killed 3 Kenyans. In Nairobi’s Eastleigh district, 6 Kenyans were killed and dozens more injured when terrorists exploded bombs at two separate locations. On 2 April 2015, gunmen stormed the Garissa University College in Garissa, Kenya, killing 147 people, and injuring 79 or more. These are just a few of the deaths that have happened in Kenya due to insecurity. 
What isn’t and shouldn’t be an area of priority for our leaders is homosexuality. Two consensual adults loving each other should not be reason for Kenyans to stop what they are doing and go out in the streets to demonstrate. Gay and lesbian people suffer the same insecurity, corruption, unemployment and everything else that the rest of the Kenyans are facing. Yet the deputy president, backed by other politicians and religious leaders says that there is no room for homosexuals in Kenya. Let us break that statement down for a moment. 
A gay man owns a hotel. He provides employment to more than 50 Kenyans. He pays his taxes. He provides services as hoteliers do. He supports the declining tourism market. A lesbian woman has a kiosk selling vegetables. She provides sustenance to members of her community. She does no wrong. She pays her taxes. Another gay man owns a beauty salon. He beautifies ladies so that they look good enough to attend political functions with their husbands who are the same politicians who say that there is no room for him in this country. He also pays his taxes. There is no room for these people in this country? These people whose hard earned tax money goes to pay these politician’s hefty salaries? These same politicians who claim that there is no room for these people in this country use the same tax money to grab land owned by schools, issue questionable contracts among other scandals (allegedly).

We need to place priority where priority is due. My relationship with another man has no effect on you whatsoever. I do not threaten any family. I do not cause you not to eat your Ugali for dinner. I do not cause you any harm. Corruption, insecurity, unemployment; these are the things that affect you. No matter what any politician says about homosexuality. Consider the fact that they are only using homosexuality to divert attention to what they are doing or not doing in their capacity as leader. They are using this highly emotive issue to get attention away from that land they grabbed. Away from that contract they irregularly offered. Away from all the issues that actually affect you and yours.

I do have the audacity to say that gay and lesbian people pay taxes on national TV because, guess what, we do.

I don’t normally respond to hate messages online. The reason I do so now is because I feel the urge to state the obvious. That I am the same person who spent 4 years with you in high school. I haven’t changed one bit. Granted there is a bit of facial hair and a bald spot on my head where they didn’t exist back then but I am still essentially the same person. You didn’t seem to have any problem with me back then. Why is it that you do, now that you know that I am gay and support the rights of gay and lesbian people?

I have known that my sexual orientation did not conform to the “norm” since as far back as I can remember. I knew I was gay when I was in high school. I didn’t say it then because I didn’t know anyone else who was like me. I lived an incredibly lonely life. A lonely life that I didn’t choose. A life that was filled with questions to myself and my maker. Why did I have to be the one person that society shuns. The one person who will bring shame to my family. The one person who will be violated, beaten, spat on, stigmatized and ostracized by society. Why? I went on a journey of self loathing to understanding and finally accepting myself for who I am. This is a journey all gay and lesbian people have to take. Unfortunately for some, acceptance doesn’t happen and they end up taking their own lives. I almost did.

So, yes. I do pay my taxes. I contribute to society. I provide employment to fellow Kenyans. I am a brother, a son, a friend, a confidant and an incredibly patriotic citizen of this beautiful country. I live through the same security concerns that all Kenyans live through. I experience the same rise in cost of living that all Kenyans experience. I am Kenyan. If my being gay, something I have absolutely no control over, or supporting “gayism” is cause for you to feel ashamed, for you to feel like I am shaming my former school, if my sexual orientation causes you to call on Jesus who, as the Bible so clearly says, preached love, if you have a problem with who I am, what I do, where I do it, then bye Felicia.

In February 2014, I was a victim of an attack. An attack that was one of many that are faced by people for something that they have no control over. Their sexuality.

Today in Kenya, there are many reported cases of violence, discrimination and stigma towards gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people. The perpetrators forget that we are their brothers, their sisters, their mothers and fathers, their neighbors and friends. They forget that we pay taxes and contribute to society. They forget that we suffer the same insecurity, unemployment and rise in cost of living. They forget that we, like them, are Kenyan.

We did not, just like they did not choose our sexual orientation or gender identity. We are all simply who we are.

We should all understand and accept that Kenya is a diverse nation. Africa is a diverse continent. The world is a diverse place and THAT is what makes it beautiful.

If all Kenyans understand and accept that Kenya has many tribes and each tribe is different and beautiful. That there are many races, each different and beautiful. That there are several sexual orientations and gender identities, each different and beautiful. The moment we all accept each other for who we are. The moment we embrace diversity, then, in the words of our national anthem, peace, love and unity will prevail.


All my life, I have had a love/hate relationship with religion. On the one hand, it presents human beings with a sense of hope. Hope that there is more to their lives than what they see, feel and experience. On the other hand, interpretations of some of its teachings (and this is true for most if not all religious doctrines) condemn people for being who they are, advocate for violence against non-believers and preaches hate for some members of society. The key word there is “interpretations”. Religious teachings could be interpreted in so many ways which is why we also have religious factions that do not condemn people for being who they are, do not advocate for violence against non-believers and do not preach hate for some members of society. This is the reason for my love/hate relationship with religion.
Earlier today, I read an article that brought tears to my eye. A story about parents tragically learning to truly love their son. Their gay son who came out to them and due to their religious beliefs, they wouldn’t show him the love that parents should show their children. They inadvertently made their gay son hate his sexuality and himself by asking him to choose between Jesus and being gay. Their gay son who ended up dead from drug use. A habit most likely born of the self-loathing that we gay men and women are subject to when society treats us like we ought not to exist. Treats us like we should not be a part of it. Denies us basic human rights. Attacks and vilifies us for no other reason other than that we express love in a way that is different from what society perceives as “normal”. You can read the story here.
When I read this story, as much as I had tears in my eyes, I had such mixed reactions. I wanted to be angry at the parents. As a matter of fact, I was incredibly angry at the parents. I am not a parent but I do know a thing or two about parenthood. You bring a child into this world, you are expected to show them unconditional love. You are expected to always guide your child in the “right” way. I recognize just how relative “right” is. A parent is not expected to abandon their child at any cost. I say this with a heavy heart being a victim of abandonment by my father but that’s a story for another day. Yes. I was incredibly angry at the parents. I do not understand how a mother would choose religion over her own flesh and blood. One reader commented and said that what they couldn’t wrap their head around is how the parent could chose something intangible over their own flesh and blood. That there is absolutely nothing that should be more important than your child. This reader said that they will never understand how anyone can rationalize diminishing their child because of something they have no proof of. But this is the crux of the matter, isn’t it? It is at the very heart of every human being’s belief in a supreme being or the lack of one. The question of faith or the lack of it. The question of the existence of a universal morality. The question of who defines what “normal” is. The question of love and hate and the many interpretations of religious doctrines. The question of life itself.
I would have been one of those readers who instantly reacted in anger and wrote something like “Anyone who would choose religion before family deserves no sympathy”. But I didn’t. I thought about it. The one thing that came to mind over and over again was that no one, no matter how ignorant and misinformed they are, deserves to lose a child. Losing a child is one of the most painful experiences in a parent’s life. Even though said loss may be of their doing, the parents still don’t deserve to lose a child. These particular parents saw the error of their ways. They learn to love their son. They live, every passing day with the knowledge that what they did caused their son’s death and from what I have read, from the heart breaking letterfrom the father to his dead son to the even more heart breaking responseto the people to hate them for what they did, these parents are torn. They are hurting. They are suffering the consequences of their actions. They are using their story to inform other parents out there, many of whom are making their gay sons and daughters hate their sexuality and themselves because of religion, learn that love is what these children need. I am angry at these parents. But aren’t we all human? Don’t we all make mistakes? Some of the mistakes we make have dire consequences. What will happen to us if we don’t learn from our mistakes? If our mistakes are not used as lessons for others in similar circumstances?

I do not believe in organized religion. There. I said it. However, that does not mean that I hate anyone that does. It does not mean that those who believe are inferior. As a matter of fact, the belief that others have in God makes me respect them more. The Bible in Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.I may not relate to that but I respect those who do. This world is a mix of differences. There are gay and straight people. There are believers and non-believers. There are black, white and many other races. This world is diverse in so many ways. The moment we all learn to accept the diversity, to respect the differences we have and live with and to spread love and not hate for our fellow human being, that is the moment when harmony in this society will prevail.

Last month, ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) released the 2014 State Sponsored Homophobia Report. You can read the report here.

This report is a world survey of laws that critically looks at criminalisation, protection and recognition of same-sex love.

In the article, “We Are All African” (Page 78) I note;

But perhaps what could be seen as the most controversial of the responses sought would be aid conditionality. In October 2011, during the Commonwealth Meeting of Heads of State, David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, threatened to reduce development aid to countries that criminalise homosexuality. Shortly after the statement was made, the United States also announced that they would use all available mechanisms, including measures related to development cooperation, to promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. In February this year, the World Bank postponed a US$90 million loan due to the signing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act. Norway said it would be withholding $8m in development aid to Uganda, and Denmark will divert $9m away from the Ugandan government saying that they couldn’t distance themselves too strongly from the law and the signal that the Ugandan government now sends to not only persecuted minority groups, but to the whole world. Austria said it was reviewing its assistance to Uganda.

What are your thoughts on aid conditionality, particularly when the aid is tied to sexual orientation and gender identity?

I respect everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are black, white, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Gay, Straight, male, female or other. I keep saying that the world is a collection of diversities and once we learn to respect these diversities, the world will be a much better place. That said, The Bible story of Sodom and Gomorrah has been used time and time again to justify violence towards gay and lesbian people. I read comments on stories about sexual orientation and inevitably, someone will quote Sodom and Gomorrah. Here are two of the comments from various sources;

“In whose eye???my understanding.bible or GOD cursed gay when they wanted to rape tha angels in sodom and gomora and they were made blind so i dont think we r equal at all”

“that is a self answered question i will never support gayism my reason is simple GOD MADE THAT ABSULITELY CLEAR WHEN HE DESTROYED SODOM AND GOMORA”

I hate copying and pasting from Wikipedia but here are some excerpts from the article on Sodom and Gomorrah that I think people should know;

Rictor Norton views classical Jewish texts as stressing the cruelty and lack of hospitality of the inhabitants of Sodom to the “stranger”. The people of Sodom were seen as guilty of many other significant sins. Rabbinic writings affirm that the Sodomites also committed economic crimes, blasphemy and bloodshed. One of the worst was to give money or even gold ingots to beggars, after inscribing their names on them, and then subsequently refusing to sell them food. The unfortunate stranger would end up starving and after his death, the people who gave him the money would reclaim it.

A rabbinic tradition, described in the Mishnah, postulates that the sin of Sodom was related to property: Sodomites believed that “what is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine” (Abot), which is interpreted as a lack of compassion. Another rabbinic tradition is that these two wealthy cities treated visitors in a sadistic fashion. One major crime done to strangers was almost identical to that of Procrustes in Greek mythology. This would be the story of the “bed” that guests to Sodom were forced to sleep in: if they were too short they were stretched to fit it, and if they were too tall, they were cut up (indeed, in Hebrew and Yiddish, the corresponding term for a Procrustean bed is a “Sodom bed”).

In another incident, Eliezer, Abraham’s servant, went to visit Lot in Sodom and got in a dispute with a Sodomite over a beggar, and was hit in the forehead with a stone, making him bleed. The Sodomite demanded Eliezer pay him for the service of bloodletting, and a Sodomite judge sided with the Sodomite. Eliezer then struck the judge in the forehead with a stone and asked the judge to pay the Sodomite.

The Talmud and the Sefer haYashar (midrash) also recount two incidents of a young girl (one involved Lot’s daughter Paltith) who gave some bread to a poor man who had entered the city. When the townspeople discovered their acts of kindness, they burned Paltith and smeared the other girl’s body with honey and hung her from the city wall until she was eaten by bees.  It is this gruesome event, and her scream in particular, the Talmud concludes, that are alluded to in the verse that heralds the city’s destruction: “So said, ‘Because the outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah has become great, and because their sin has been very grave, I will descend and see…'” (Genesis 18:20-21)

A modern orthodox position is one that holds, “The paradigmatic instance of such aberrant behavior is found in the demand of the men of Sodom to ‘know’ the men visiting Lot, the nephew of Abraham, thus lending their name to the practice of ‘sodomy’.”

The scholar and activist Jay Michaelson proposes a reading of the story of Sodom that emphasizes the violation of hospitality as well as the violence of the Sodomites. “Homosexual rape is the way in which they violate hospitality—not the essence of their transgression. Reading the story of Sodom as being about homosexuality is like reading the story of an ax murderer as being about an ax.” Michaelson places the story of Sodom in context with other Genesis stories regarding Abraham’s hospitality to strangers, and argues that when other texts in the Hebrew Bible mention Sodom, they do so without commentary on homosexuality. The verses cited by Michaelson include Jeremiah 23:14, where the sins of Jerusalem are compared to Sodom and are listed as adultery, lying, and strengthening the hands of evildoers; Amos 4:1-11 (oppressing the poor and crushing the needy); and Ezekiel 16:49-50, which defines the sins of Sodom as “pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and did toevah before me, and I took them away as I saw fit.” Michaelson uses toevah in place of abomination to emphasize the original Hebrew, which he explains as being more correctly translated as “taboo”.

Now this was the sin of Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. —Ezekiel 16:49-50

In the Gospel of Matthew (and corresponding verse) when Jesus warns of a worse judgment for some cities than Sodom, inhospitality is perceived by some as the sin, while others see it fundamentally being impenitence:

If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. —Matthew 10:14-15

Within the Christian Churches that agree on the possible sexual interpretation of know (yada) in this context, there is still a difference of opinion on whether homosexuality is important. The Anglican Communion, on its website, presents the argument that the story is “not even vaguely about homosexual love or relationships”, but instead “about dominance and rape, by definition an act of violence, not of sex or love.” This argument that the violence and threat of violence to foreign visitors it the true ethical downfall of Sodom (and not homosexuality) observers the similarity between the Sodom and Gomorrah and the Battle of Gibeah Bible stories. In both stories, an inhospitable mob demands the homosexual rape of a foreigner or foreigners. As the mob instead settles for the rape and murder of the foreigner’s female concubine in the Battle of Gibeah story, the homosexual aspect is generally seen as inconsequential, and the ethical downfall is understood to be the violence and threat of violence to foreigners by the mob. This Exodus 22:21-24 lesson is viewed as a more historically accurate way to interpret the Sodom and Gomorrah story.

Now, as my friend and colleague Eric Gitari said in a TV interview, never have you seen a group of gay men both young and old gather outside your house wanting to forcefully know someone. As far as I’m concerned, the LGBT movement in Kenya is against all forms of rape. Let us not pick and choose parts of the Bible that we want to and leave out others. The Bible is against fornication, it is against adultery, divorce and many other things that we are all guilty of. Advocating for stoning of gay people just because you don’t like what they are is hardly Christian.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodom_and_Gomorrah

In Kenya, and indeed in Africa, there exists a large number of gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons. We may be a minority but we do make up a percentage of the population. One does not choose to be part of any of the clusters mentioned above; one simply IS in the cluster they are in. However, this group of persons suffers greatly from various forms of injustice from every angle. Just because a man is different, he is beaten up by a mob. Just because a woman is different, she is raped so as to conform to the norm. Just because a person is intersex, they are placed in isolation in prison for months on end. The LGBTI community also makes up a section of the citizenry that pay taxes. It makes up a section of the citizenry that provides services. It makes up a section of the citizenry without which several industries will not survive. We are a people who have a function in society. We are a people who have families. We have people who depend on us. We have people who love us, not just because of our sexual orientation or gender identities, but because we are people. Because we are all that, because we are different, because we are a community, we are a part of this great country, we are Kenyans. Kenya may not constitutionally be a Christian nation but it does have a great number of Christians. Among the Christians are persons within the LGBTI community. The Bible contains parts, interpretations of which may create the impression that homosexuals are evil. The same Bible also says that we shouldn’t judge others lest we be judged ourselves. Christianity’s core principle is love. Christ taught mankind to love their neighbor as they love themselves. Christ taught that we should love each other because we know that we are forever loved by him. Christ taught that we should do to others what we would have them do to us. Saint Paul taught that love does no harm to its neighbor making love the fulfillment of the law. He taught that love is patient and kind and doesn’t envy nor boast nor is it proud. He taught that love is not self-seeking nor does it keep a record of wrongs. He taught that love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. The Bible teaches that above all, we should love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins. With all that in mind, let us remember that whatever position you take towards homosexuality, towards the intersex, towards the transgender community, hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers all wrongs.