The United States Supreme Court crossed the Rubicon when it ruled recently that same-sex couples are legally permitted to marry. It was a judgement that sent homosexuals, lesbians and transgender people in America and elsewhere cheering, while leaving opponents of such queer unions in shock.
The ruling will also be considered a welcome development in countries, especially in Europe, that support gay marriage. The number of such countries have risen to 18 as at June 26, 2015, 14 years since The Netherlands became the first country in modern times to enact a law legalising gay marriage in 2001.
But if reactions within and outside the US are anything to go by, the apex court may not have the last word on the matter.
Not surprisingly, opposition to gay marriage is strongest in Africa where, with the possible exception of South Africa, 54 African countries regard homosexuality as an aberration and a taboo and have taken both legal and non-legal steps to ensure that it did not take root or flourish in their countries.
Nigeria had followed suit when the country’s upper legislative chamber, the Senate, approved a proposed law banning same-sex marriage and imposing a 14-year jail term for those found guilty, while anyone who assists gays to marry gets a 10-year jail sentence. Some other African countries have responded in similar fashion.
But given the well-known position of the American government under President Barack Obama to export and indeed impose the obnoxious gay culture on countries opposed to it, the Supreme Court’s endorsement of gay marriage may be the weapon it needs to launch a fresh offensive on African countries. Indeed, from every indication diplomatic confrontations between America and anti-gay countries are in the offing.
Nigeria must be ready to confront the offensive and provide the needed leadership against it. While Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan held sway as president, Nigerians of all walks of life said a resounding NO to gay unions, and he proceeded to sign a Bill to that effect into law in January 2014.
That position has not changed today. So, the present administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari must maintain the status quo and not allow itself to be arm-twisted under its current diplomatic romance with the US and the West.
The position of the government on this matter must remain in tandem with that of the people under whose mandate it derives its authority. Most of these countries embracing these taboo practices as “human rights” have hit the zenith of their social development and are now in moral decline.
We must hold strongly to the values and spiritual principles that set us apart as Africans.