By Sidique Geloo
I know that the gay question is a very sensitive issue in Zambia and even though I am not gay at all, I have been labelled that and also that I am not a Christian for not agreeing with the government and the church about throwing homosexuals in jail. I do understand that this article may make me unpopular and may even speak against me in future if I ever try to stand for a public position
Minister Kambwili, US based bishop Chomba and other homophobic fraternities in Zambia are so paranoid and fearful of gay people that one may think the homosexual influence is stronger than the blood of Jesus. They are so afraid that Zambia’s customs and ideals will collapse once the gay invasion of Zambia reaches it’s pinnacle. Just like the President Sata who said he would rule Zambia with the 10 commandments yet accommodated another woman making the first lady vacate state house for a while, these leaders are misusing the Bible to justify their homophobic hatred for gay people. May I remind everyone that gay people are humans that have decided to be together consensually. If you mind your own business they will mind their own business.Let me tackle a few things that politicians and church leaders are not putting into consideration.
1. The law that stipulates that gay people deserve jail sentences is a law adopted from the English (British) Law which since has been changed in England. As much as I am not lobbying for gay marriages to be legalised in Zambia, I am however lobbying that we DECRIMINALISE gay people. They are not stealing or killing anyone. Unlike what bishop Chomba said on let the people talk, gay people don’t think they are wrong when they are in love with a person of the same sex. They feel they are misunderstood. I have a gay couple neighbour in Atlanta.They are quiet,clean, they don’t play loud music disturbing neighbours like the way I do. They don’t leave trash outside their door the way I do, my landlord appreciates them more than he appreciates me. Yes, I don’t agree with their lifestyle but who am I to judge them that they are wrong when Jesus himself never judges anyone.. Yes the Bible says homosexuality is wrong but the consequences of being gay shouldn’t be between you and the police, it should be between you and the God of the Bible
2. People tell me ‘ homosexuality is not in our value code, Sidique when you went to America you lost your values.’ I agree that values are important in any society, but what are values and who said values can not be challenged? In the early 70 s the Zambian society was afraid that mini skirts would forever change our morals and principles and would take over society. Today, even pastor’s wives wear those skirts. Yes they have altered society in a way but not in any originally feared manner. Values in villages are not as strong as values in the cities. In some villages, a man has to eat the best part of a chicken, while the woman and kids sit on the floor eating the worst part. It would be immoral for a woman to challenge that then. Today those values have changed in most parts of Zambia. In Saudi Arabia women are not allowed to stand near men when men are having a conversation. In Saudi Arabia that’s a moral value, to the rest of the world that’s sexism. Human rights says we can challenge that. Human rights says ,’ we don’t care what your religion or tradition says, a woman should be treated with equal respect and equal rights.’ In my opinion,gay people in Zambia are as much Zambian as anyone and they have a right to exist as long as they do not force anyone to be like them. Zambia has a moral code that homosexuals can never change. The church is too paranoid for nothing, people are afraid as if gay people will make society get a heart attack and collapse. Denying gays their rights by taking them to jail is a human rights violation. Trying to deny gays their right to make their own choices is as dictatorial as Islamic Countries denying Christians to form their own churches because that’s against ‘ISLAMIC VALUES.’
Islamic values or biblical values should be more relevant in interpersonal relationships than on a national level. The more important values of a nation are simply truthfulness,honesty, the right to worship, right to utilise my freedom as a free member of society,love and care for my fellow human. These are the values we should aphold,not the values of being homophobic and calling gays wrong just because the Bible says they are wrong. What about those that don’t believe in the Bible but believe in honesty and love? They are less Zambians because Zambia is a Christian nation?
3. People seem to think gay people will change our children and transform them into homosexuals,and that society will be under their control. Yet even bishop Chomba said homosexuality is not really accepted in America. That comparison typifiea that society has a way of cleansing itself. We will FOREVER have more heterosexuals than homosexuals. Homosexuals are too few and will always be too few to worry about. Homosexuals will never affect our society even if they were given the rights to marry.
4) Christianity speaks for the Christian and the sinner. It does not advocate for gays to go to jail. The Bible tells us that man is a free moral agent.He has every right to choose Jesus or not, he has every right to be gay or not to be gay.The Bible does not advocate prison time for people that refuse to follow jesus , neither does it demand the constitutional law to enact biblical tenets except for the universal tenets that places man, both sinner and Christian,at the centre of human existence’s well being.
I know many will not agree with the above stated,but if anything should be noteworthy in my article, please let it be that,even though homosexuality ,for most gay people, is a condition that stems from chemical imbalances in the body,it is wrong to call them criminals when relationships between them are mutual and consensual.