While the LGBT community is making headway in gaining acceptance in the western hemisphere, things are still bleak in the rest of the world. It looks like the nations in the continents of Africa (with the exception of South Africa where same sex marriage is legal) and Asia and the Middle East may well end up being the last to accept the reality.
According to The Council for Global Equality, homosexuality is still illegal in 37 countries on the African continent. Things are also pretty bad in Asia, with almost all countries (India and Thailand being notable exceptions) making it illegal. And most of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (with the notable exceptions of Israel, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, and Iraq) have also declared it illegal.
While Muslims and Christians may be killing each other in various parts of Africa, the one thing that seems to bring them together is their deep antipathy to homosexuality. Both Muslim and Christian religious leaders are digging in their heels and arguing that acceptance should be rejected since it goes against their religion and traditions.
Sheikh Saliou Mbacke, a Senegalese Muslim leader who coordinates the Interfaith Action for Peace in Africa, said faith leaders have the duty to speak out, especially if outside forces want to impose their will.
“The subject of homosexuality must not be used as a tool to blackmail and coerce society to defy God’s command, which is more important than any world power,” he said. “We will oppose any manner of arm-twisting that threatens us to embrace it in our societies.”
In Nairobi, Roman Catholic Cardinal John Njue voiced similar concerns, and said Africans must be allowed to forge their own consensus on the subject.
“I think we need to act according to our own traditions and even our own faiths,” he said. “This is very important. We have to be proud of who we are.”
Yes, these people are proud of being bigoted.