Sunday, November 29, 2009

Harsh laws not answer to our sexuality

Harsh laws not answer to our sexuality’
Rev. Gideon B. Byamugisha

No one really knows how many homosexuals , tri-sexuals, bi-sexuals, hetero-sexuals and non-sexuals we are in Uganda. What is known is that these sexualities are certainly not new ways of life.

When a young person reaches adulthood and finds himself or herself in a certain sexual orientation, it may now be a firmly established life value that will be very difficult to change to what they have not been or are not just by laws and punishments and threats of punishment.
The best law is the one which helps everyone to help one another and children early on in life to discover, establish and maintain a healthy sexual identity, sexual self-esteem and self-sexual perceptions.

In the present circumstances, young people and adults of Uganda need to be taught to love, treat and pray for homosexuals, hetero-sexuals, bi-sexuals, tri-sexuals and non-sexuals as they would do for any other person.

We need not be afraid of each other because our sexuality is not contagious! We don’t need to treat each other as freaks because of not understanding each other. We need not even to discuss someone’s sexuality except where the sexuality is a threat to their own and other people’s peace, health, wellbeing and prosperity.

If we try to understand our fellow human beings, see their pain from their point of view, and show love, we will discover the magic of compassion for all the ‘different’ people in our own lives and in our places of work, worship, residence, education and travel.

Being hateful, arrogant and intolerant of the ‘other’ persons may have even more dangerous outcomes for our country’s peace, health, wellbeing and spirituality at individual, family, local community and national level as inquisitive children and young people seek to “find and eat the forbidden fruit” or simply to be different or to affirm their “machoism and masochism” or to establish their independence from a very intolerant, boxing, sadistic, repressive and boring society.

All of us are capable of being kind, considerate, just and loving in the same way we are capable of violence, destructiveness and sinfulness irrespective of our distinguishing sexualities. Homosexuals are not worse sinners because they are homosexuals in the same way heterosexuals are not better saints because they are heterosexuals!

Substitute punishmentPeople who desperately need love, care, help and protection irrespective of their sexual sins should not receive even more pain and punishment instead.Many heterosexuals and many homosexuals state that they are perfectly happy in their relationships. But many of those in the two camps I have worked with and tried to help confess this is not true. Many are haunted with the fear of rejection, jealousy, and endless anger.

Many in both camps have suffered repeated losses of partners as they become involved in a desperate search for happiness that requires more and more effort but gains less and less satisfaction.

Happiness search Others I have interacted with; gay and straight, are fine, happy and quite normal, productive, industrious, creative, hardworking, welcoming and peaceful people. The one difference is that one of the groups is capable of producing children and another is incapable of producing children just like the celibates, the non-sexual, the infertile and the impotent.
So happiness, wellness and causing other individuals and families to be happy and well or suffering and adversity and causing other individuals and families to suffer and be unhappy are not a preserve of one kind of sexuality.

Of course we will (rightly or wrongly) continue to argue that we cannot afford to be very permissive to lifestyles that are “unnatural” and “unscriptural”. We have the right to argue like that and be listened to! But we cannot continue to argue that we are a deeply God-fearing nation when in the same breath we continue to commit state-inspired, state-protected and state-legislated suicide, genocide and murder.

Continued destructionWe cannot argue also that we are striving to protect our traditional family and community values by choosing not to love but to destroy fellow citizens.
We have a right as Parliament and as citizens to debate on what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, ‘lawful’ or ‘unlawful’, ‘faithful’ and ‘unfaithful’, ‘sinful’ or ‘saintly’ ‘good’ or ‘bad’ ,‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’ in sex, sexuality, and sexual health or any other sector.But to legislate against individuals because they choose to perform their sexual antics in a way that is different from my own thinking, appreciation, liking or even to traditions is stretching my ‘Godly’ values and morals.

Homosexuals, heterosexuals, bi-sexuals, tri-sexuals and non-sexuals who have been born and made by us, should not be helped to commit suicide; to kill or be killed; to be violent or violated against; to be hated or be hateful; to be resented or resentful with state laws of a country that describes itself as “religious”.

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