Sexual Orientation In Africa

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It has taken many years from society to gradually accept and acknowledge the importance of the LGBTI community. Accepting of same sex relationships and different sexual orientations, especially in Africa. For many years, the concept of homosexuality was not identified as being African, and believe that same sex relations is a concept developed in the 19th century, a western practice. The word homosexual, according to Msibi, homosexuality ‘was therefore a term initially introduced to the West to control social relations, while labelling those engaged in same-sex relations as deviant.’ ( Msibi ). Although today, society has become more aware and honest about homosexuality, some African countries still have laws and situations which counter the…show more content…
In Uganda, many other acts that go against the heteronormative structure, but yet seem to accept and acknowledge them. The heterosexual acts such as child-brides and arranged marriages are deemed as normal. This is so because both cases do not involve same-sex relations, and according to custom is normal for the Ugandans. These situations are deemed as acceptable and okay according to culture, but in the eyes of society, marrying children before their time or arranging a union of love without the participant’s consent is also deemed to be questionable. This alone proves that African society can accept the norms outside of social norms. This also proves that; hypocrisy can be a debate topic amongst those who are in support of homosexuality. The discussion of how it is possible for the laws of Uganda to accept the unusual social norms such as child brides and arranged marriages, but cannot accept the union of same-sex relations. Many would consider the two examples stated as being immoral and questionable, but yet Uganda approve of it, and not the movement of homosexuality. Nyanzi continues to elaborate on the issue of child brides, saying that, ‘patriarchy and heterosexism dictate gender norms and sexual behavior. Children are valued for extending kinship structures and ritual definitions of maturation. Consequently, same-sex relationships are ostracized because of widespread myths…show more content…
A recent incident of a couple publicly announcing and being joyful about their same-sex engagement caused major controversy in the country, and eventually resulted in the couple being arrested by the police in Malawi. The magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa chose to make an example out of the couple by giving them a harsh punishment in order to prove a point to the public about openly being expression about an individual’s homosexuality to the public. The magistrate believed that by making a public example of the couple, citizens would choose not to engage in same-sex relationships, and live as they see to be normal lives of being with a partner of a different sex. They also believed that this example would provide a sense of protection, informing the public of what not to do in their country. The magistrate ‘imposed on the couple a fourteen-year imprisonment at hard labor, the maximum sentence allowed. And to the judge, ‘same-sex desire was a gross immortal act, worthy of the worst punishment available.’ (Msibi……). This act of punishment, which due to public disapprovals and outcries, proves to society that the world is still not in unity in accepting homosexuals, and that they consider homosexuality to be against law, religion and culture. Using religion, culture and law has also caused for great discussion in light of the confusion created by those who are against homosexuality. On the African continent,
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