Many commentators on Amoris Laetitia have expressed disappointment that Pope Francis’ reminder of respect and freedom from discrimination for lesbian and gay people, was not accompanied by an explicit condemnation of the LGBT persecution found across much of Africa, or of the endorsement of criminal sanctions by some Catholic bishops.
However, at least one key African Catholic sees it differently, saying that the Pope’s words “should galvanize the Church in Africa to embrace wholeheartedly African families and their LGBT members“.
Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, SJ, is a Nigerian Jesuit currently serving in Kenya as the Provincial of the Eastern Africa Province of the Society of Jesus, a position he has held since 2009. An author, editor, and lecturer at Hekima College Jesuit School of Theology in Nairobi, Kenya, Father Orobator specializes in ethics and theology in the church and religion in African society.
Writing at National Catholic Reporter on his early response to Amoris Laetitia, he admits that he had expected more, says that the exhortation is not “groundbreaking”, and adds,
Continue reading African Theologian Expects LGBT Welcome, Inclusion to Follow from “Amoris Laetitia”
During the 2014 Family Synod, some attention was paid to African bishops’ complaints that some Western countries were attempting to make development aid conditional on African acceptance of gay marriage. The complaint is unjustified – there are no countries attempting to do so. There are however, some attempts to make aid conditional on progress with lesbian and gay equality in other areas – and that could be counter – productive. Africans can be very suspicious, and with good cause, of anything that looks to them like neo – colonialism, or “colonialism of the mind”.
In a recent interview with Okayafrica, David Kuria, former chairman of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK) and Kenya’s First Openly Gay Political Candidate, explained the difficulty. He also came up with a constructive counter proposal, which would not make aid dependent on legal change, but which could nevertheless contribute to progress on LGBT equality. Continue reading Neo – Colonialism and Gay Rights in Africa
New law will make clear that security measures cannot be taken against those who engage in ‘vices against nature’
29 JUNE 2015 | BY JOE MORGAN
Gay sex was officially made legal in Mozambique today (29 June).
The southern African nation has officially been added to the list of countries with no law against same-sex relations, 180 days after the government agreed to the revised Penal Code.
Legislators specifically revised the penal code that allowed ‘security measures’ to be taken against people ‘who habitually engage in vices against nature’.
This was used to discriminate against and prosecute LGBTI people that could have sent them to a workhouse for up to three years.
A hangover from when it was colonized for the Portguese, the law was rarely enforced and it was considered by many to be a meaningless clause in the statute books.
via Mozambique officially makes gay sex legal | Gay Star News.
The persecution of gay men and lesbians in much of Africa is a tragic hangover of the colonial period. It is not homosexuality that was introduced by the colonists and missionaries, but homophobia. Historians and social anthropologists have amassed extensive empirical evidence that a wide range of same – sex relationship patterns and gender variant behaviours were common-place in many traditional societies in all regions of the continent. An ILGA guide to LGBT rights worldwide has noted that only eight countries worldwide have never made homosexual activity illegal: ALL are in Africa.
So it is, that when Mozambique undertook a comprehensive review of its statute book to remove all outdated colonial laws, one of those discarded was a colonial law that allowed “security measures” to be taken against those engaging in so-called “social perversion” .
Gay Star News has the details.
Mozambique officially makes gay sex legal
Continue reading In Mozambique, decolonization includes decriminalizing gay sex
In the Philippines, Pope Francis made some observations about marriage when addressing a gathering of families, that have been widely interpreted as an attack on gay marriage, urging people to resist pressures to “colonize” the family. (Read the full text here)
At Bondings 2.0, Frank DeBenardo has a thoughtful reflection on the Pope’s message, which he describes as “problematic”. I have not yet read the actual text, or detailed reports of it, so withhold comment on the message itself, concerning marriage. Read instead, DeBenardo’s thoughts. However, he does include a useful observation on the word “colonization” that this may have been prompted by the concerns of African bishops at the family synod. As an African myself, this struck me as important. Continue reading Pope Francis, Gay Marriage – and Africa.