By: Isaac Ofori/wwwafricanakua.com, Ghana
It’s getting increasingly clear that the reality of living with individuals with different beliefs, purpose and behaviour is becoming obvious and the society must be ready to investigate, understand and cope with the changing trends. Culture they say is dynamic and globalization in its current form will continue to impact our way of living and will leave us little or no choice than to cope, accept or learn to live with global tendencies without having to compromise our conscience and promote pervasive immorality.
Having observed the recent happening in Ghana concerning whether or not Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) should be embraced by the society, it’s important for many voices to be heard to offer the bigger society the chance to make a better or a more informed case for such individuals. Having said this, though many respected individuals as well civil societies, religious groups had widely condemned the emerging orientation, I will submit that the call is hasty, whim and borne out of misguided moral judgment rather than judgment based on proper investigation and basic fundamentals of human right.
What is very intriguing is the fact that the practice of wild sexual orientation hadn’t begun today and it’s not today’s practice. It’s something that is already practiced in the society but only under the cover of the dark and behind closed doors. The emerging trend is pointing to the fact that it is gaining root among those who practice them and therefore cannot hide it anymore than to present themselves as such. What’s even more dangerous is the fact that practicing such wild sexual orientation undercover makes it more threatening than coming into the public to declare their stance.
Do we know the number of people who are into this practice undercover? Do we know how far it has eaten into the moral fiber of society, especially the youth? Do we know how many people subtly subscribe to such an act and are pushing for its acceptance? Do we know how much money is being pushed into its campaign for its promotion? Do we know which powers of the west are ensuring its campaign and acceptance into the society? There are more of these questions that need investigation and answers in order to unravel or arrive at a proper consensus that will enable the society to properly define a boundary for such a group of people and at the same time maintaining its moral standards without having put the whole nation at risk of pervasive immorality.
In any case, before the advancement of the LGBTQI, our society is already crippled with scores of immoral behavior in prostitution, armed robbery, and abuse of drug, sexual escapades and other dangerous practices that put the society in a hanging balance than even the so called LGBTQI. It is important to note that our society is filled with endless immoral behaviour and LGBTQI is just a fraction of many of the ills in the society. The church, representing Christianity, is struggling even to mold its members into proper moral behaviour and it’s not clean from all forms of immorality.
It becomes very surprising how a fraction of immortality had received such a ‘hypocritical’ bash from the society notwithstanding the many ills that need the same magnitude of condemnation. It looks as if the mere association with people with the LGBTQI idea will culminate into a moral crush of the society and the society is doing everything possible to stop the advent.
Well, civil society is just giving more arsenals to the LGBTQI only to get attention and to find more dangerous ways of penetrating the society. Whether their office is closed or not the practice won’t stop and will continue to operate under the dark and behind closed doors and the future emergence of the LGBTQI could be more fatal than what the society is fighting today.
Issues of human rights have surfaced in the midst of this brouhaha and scores of theories of how right can be exercised had emerged. It’s therefore important to scrutinize whether or not these people stand any chance of right at all in society. We have to put the definition of human right into proper context or perspective and not to confuse it right as enshrined in a constitution. The question as to whether these people have the right to such sexual orientation cannot be an issue of constitution or moral standards but right as human beings.
Human rights are rights we have simply because we exist as human beings – they are not granted by any state or constitution. These universal rights are inherent to us all, regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language, or any other status. They range from the most fundamental – the right to life – to those that make life worth living, such as the rights to food, education, work, health, and liberty. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948, was the first legal document to set out the fundamental human rights to be universally protected. They apply regardless of where you are from, what you believe or how you choose to live your life. They can never be taken away, and these basic rights are based on shared values like dignity, fairness, equality, respect and independence.
Some countries have taken further steps to enact human rights laws to protect these alienable rights that are exclusive to all human beings. For instance, in Britain, human rights are protected by the Human Rights Act of 1998. Your rights as human being is not a law that can be enjoyed under a certain constitution or state laws but the state can enact laws to protect such rights when they think others might end up facing discrimination, ill and unfair treatment for exercising their rights as human beings.
Unfortunately, in the context of Ghana, the dialogue had not been on strict proof of fact and whether or not these groups of people who think they have every right as human beings to enjoy their sexual orientation could be integrated into the society. Many of these individuals fear for their lives because of the numerous threats they receive from their society? So we ask “are these individuals’ outcasts? Can the society do anything about them rather than to ostracize them outright? Can’t the country undertake a survey and set up rehabilitation centers for such individuals to seek help and attention? Can’t the religious groups and other concerned groups initiate steps to embrace these people as their own rather than sending signals of hate to them? Can’t we find any better means of understanding them and finding a more possible solution to their so-called ‘predicament’? The more the society barks at these individuals, the more they grow in the dark and will continue to penetrate the society at the blind side. Open declaration of themselves means that they are ready to seek help that is why they want their families, the society and leaders to know their stance, so that everyone who wants to help them can extend his or her hand.
The future consequences of our present action on this serious issue could be dire. When hate, threats and ostracism becomes the only solution for society to the issues of LGBTQI rather than looking into the broader context of proper dialogue, defining boundaries and setting principles that could embrace this group of people without necessarily jeopardizing our moral standards.