Same Sex Union: The Nigerian Perspective (2)

Proponents have argued that humanism provides a viable moral framework for Nigerians to combat homophobia and establish the human rights of all gays and lesbians in Nigeria. Humanist morality is based on concern for human dignity, happiness and fulfillment. It is not a set of absolutist edicts and commandments handed down as eternal moral truths by some deity, but comprise principles and values discovered and informed by human knowledge and experience. Humanism is a progressive outlook founded on liberal and civilizing values. And one of them is that all human beings are equal in dignity and value.

In most African countries where homosexuality is regarded both as a crime and taboo, it is almost impossible to find anyone who will readily and openly admit to being gay. And few people with human rights credentials are willing to stick out their necks by putting homosexuality on their agenda as they draw a line between morality and law.

Miss Alice Ndegwa, Coordinator of the Forum for Single Women’s Rights in Port Harcourt, says her group cannot champion homosexuality. Lesbian and gay relationships, she says, are against nature and God’s teachings and that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

She described homosexuality as awful, a bad behavior and not part of human rights.” It is foolhardy, she stresses, for a person to excuse immoral behavior by simply saying one’s genes demand that one steals, molests children, or commits suicide, for example.

From the arguments above, one discovers that Nigerian society has two views of homosexuality. The traditional or conservative view which holds that homosexuality is an aberration, and the orientation a disorder, and the behavior is pathological, and the opposing liberal view which holds that homosexuality is a normal variant in the human condition, that it is determined before birth, and homosexual behavior is natural for those so oriented.

The gay community has been tremendously successful in gaining acceptance for the second view. This view, however, rests on a number of questionable premises, which if false, lead us back to the traditional view. The burden of proof should be with those who say it is normal and natural.

This is because the only hard evidence that we have–the biological evidence–clearly indicates that it is a disorder, in that homosexuality represents a tendency to want to use body parts for some purpose other than that for which they were designed.

The question that readily comes to mind is; Are people “born gay?” Do they choose to be gay? What causes homosexuality? Some claim that homosexual orientation is biologically determined through genetics or hormones in the same way that eye or hair color is fixed. This claim is used to advance the argument that because homosexuality is caused rather than chosen then it cannot be immoral; instead it is normal and good. Regardless of where you stand on the pleasure-relational aspects of sexuality, man and woman’s sexuality is inextricably associated with reproduction, and two men or two women cannot reproduce. Therefore, homosexuality is a condition that, in a fundamental way, is contrary to nature. Biologically, it is simply not natural or normal. The advocates of acceptance of homosexuality, have put forth a great effort to convince the world that homosexuality is in fact both natural and normal, that it is simply different, and that only because it is the orientation of a minority, do we classify it as a disorder or perversion.

Rt. Rev. Samuel Ibude, Bishop of Diobu Bishopric, Church of God Mission International, in an interview with The Vortex expressed worries over the Pope’s position on the issue of same sex marriage, describing it as total disregard for the scripture.

He said, “The problem we have in Christendom today is the fact people are beginning to explain scriptures with diverse philosophies that do not correlate with what God has commanded. It is worse when preachers, priests and teachers of the Bible who should be custodians of the tenets of Christian faith, now mix the scriptures with worldly philosophies misleading the world and turning many from the truth. The Bible is clear on this. God saw the necessity of creating a woman after creating man.”

“Genesis 2:24 explains it better, “therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife (a woman)… God’s directive has been a man to a woman and not the other way round. We cannot be too civilized that we preach what secular humanism preaches.” He added.

In the Nigerian moral context, same sex marriage has been described as an oxymoron, meaning the terms are incompatible upon considering marriage’s inherent nature. Two constituent parts reside within marriage. The first is unitive, when two become one. Homosexuals cannot, by definition, satisfy this requirement. Secondly, marriage includes openness towards procreation. Homosexual sex violates the law of complementarity, whereby male and female, while sexually different, are indeed complementary.

One completes the other and leads toward reproductive potentiality whereby the unitive portion is not being interrupted, halted, nor harmed, but is instead being maximized. Homosexual sex has no procreative value, and thereby negates marriage’s second component. The same logic applies toward the specious claim regarding codifying homosexual unions. Gay “marriage” is a violation against natural law, objective truth, and the law of complementarity.

Marriage is based on the fact that we are male and female – two halves of a complete, life-giving whole – and that this life-giving power is inherent in heterosexual intercourse. This ability to transmit life is what invests marriage with its “transcendent, moral, cultural, and social significance.

These no doubt has made homosexuality morally unacceptable. Nigerian moral context as has communitarian foundation. It is different from the liberal Western morality. It is a communitarian morality. As long as Nigerian moral context remain communitarian, homosexuality as it is been propagated today, will remain an aberration, deviant, unnatural, foreign and unacceptable sexual practice.


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