Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Meanwhile, in Nigeria

Same-sex marriage is going to be banned but not only marriage: almost all forms of association between homosexuals are going to become illegal:

Lawmakers in Nigeria are debating a bill that would ban same-sex marriage and any form of association among gays, even sharing a meal at a restaurant.

Few in Nigeria's deeply closeted gay community have publicly opposed the legislation, which proposes penalties of up to five years in prison and is widely expected to pass.

Engaging in homosexual acts is already illegal in Nigeria, with those convicted facing jail terms in the mainly Christian south and execution in the mainly Muslim north.

"This meeting, right here, would be illegal," said activist Bisi Alimi, stabbing the air with a French fry for emphasis as he sat at a table with three gay friends and a reporter.

Other activities prohibited under the proposed law include belonging to gay clubs or reading books, watching films or accessing Internet sites that "promote" homosexuality.

Alimi has been trying to drum up opposition to the legislation, but says Nigeria's gay community is too far underground and the subject too taboo.

Even accessing Internet sites that "promote" homosexuality? Hmmm. I will take up promoting homosexuality as the new neat way to spend your vacations. I will even offer discounts for first-time visitors to Homosexualia.

Jokes on this topic don't really work. If you read the above quote carefully you may have noticed that homosexuality in the Muslim north of Nigeria is a crime punishable by execution. Stoning, perhaps? It used to be burning in England, once. What vile creatures we humans can be when we put our mind to it.

It isn't an accident that a society's views on homosexuality correlate with its views on the equality of women and men. You can even see that correlation in microcosm inside the United States: the most fervent opponents of same-sex marriage are also likely to be the most fervent supporters of patriarchal male-dominated customs in general. The hidden threads that tie these topics together are not only about sexuality and what one finds repulsive or appealing in that dangerous field but also about the proper way to have sex and the proper person to be the bottom in the act, and that person is always supposed to be a woman. That's what women are for, in the minds of lots of people.

Even the possibility of homosexuality turns the patriarchal applecart (or perhaps the patriarchal bed) upside down, and that is why it is so threatening to so many. But we are not just discussing sex here. We are discussing the hierarchies and power structures of the society in general. If we are discussing anything at all. The Nigerians don't seem to be able to even allow that to happen.
Want to read something hair-tearingly funny on the topic of wingnut theories of homosexuality? Check out this.