The Uncommon Man

September 05, 2006

Is it un-African to be gay?

The latest topic open for discussion on "Have Your Say," the BBC News Website's news section devoted to Africa asks the following questions:

Is it un-African to be gay?

Do African countries need to change the way they deal with homosexuality?

Ghana's government has banned a conference for gay men and lesbians due to take place in the country later this month. Information Minister Kwamena Bartels said the gathering could not be allowed because homosexuality was illegal in Ghana.

In much of Africa society is conservative and same-sex relationships are frowned upon, but it is an open secret that homosexuality is alive, and South Africa has some of the most liberal gay rights in the world.

Should homosexuality be accepted in Africa or should the view of wider society hold sway? What's it like being gay or lesbian in Africa? Should governments take a lead on gay rights or should they follow public opinion?

There are over 40 comments already posted expressing a wide range of opinions. However, it seems that a majority of posts from Africa fiercly condemn homosexuality. The hatred, righteousness, and ignorance expressed in some of the comments is difficult for me to sit with. And yet, I know this does not represent the full spectrum of opinion of Africans.

I'm interested in your reactions and encourage Uncommon Man readers to check out the discussion and comment (here and/or there).

Posted by Daniel at September 5, 2006 01:35 PM


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