Same Sex Marriage And The Flaw In Our Argument By David Ogundipe
There is a celebrated fable in one of the Yoruba textbooks some of us read in the late 90s- it was about the tortoise and the snail. The tortoise had gone to his in law’s (snail) farm to steal tubers of yam- obviously, a disgraceful act in most society, he was caught by snail and embarrassed. His kind of embarrassment was somewhat epic- he was tied to a tree at the market square for passersby to see and mock. In the earlier stage of the punishment, it was a pleasant sight for everybody to see the incredibly indolent tortoise in such a disgraceful state. However, the pleasure soon faded as the mockery of tortoise soon turned to pity. He has been left in that state for too long and then justifications started emerging for his act- was he not his in-law? After all, he won’t eat the yam alone- the villagers chorused. In a moment, the burden of blame had shifted from tortoise to snail. At the end, the snail had the embarrassment. This piece is to call us to order- the crusaders of ‘sound’ morals, the homophobic, keepers of faith and religion, the ‘sane’ men and the bandwagon on the side of culture and tradition from ending our strive against homosexuality disgracefully.
Homosexuality has been met with strict criticisms in different parts of the world. Even in the countries where it has been honoured with a stay, voices still abound lamenting the evil in making legal what God has made illegal. Their argument has been that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Paul or Eve and Rose. To indicate God’s profound dissent to homosexuality, we have been reminded of His furious visit on Sodom and Gomorrah. We need not do a review of this, it suffices to make religiously inclined individuals to steer clear of this aberration. That in itself is an headache for the atheist- a peep into their heart revealed their begging question ‘can an inexistent being set a precedent?’ They strongly hold that ‘God is not the creator of man, but God is the creation of man’s own imagination.’ An argument whose rebuttal would be left to lie awaiting occasion here.
From another perspective- the school of morality and culture which are almost inseparable Siamese twins hold that homosexuality is evil, alien and defeats the whole essence of a union- to consummate, procreate and increase the human race. For this school, it is a shame because homosexuality does not pave way for the above. In morally condemning this emerging culture of homosexuality, we have allowed ourselves to be ridiculed as the very people who wallows in moral decadence. We have tied homosexuality to the stake at the market square, but one of our key reasons is set to make a fool of us as dawn becomes dusk- the moral argument and our orientation.
First, it is a reflection of a dwindle in moral strength for anyone to have thought that the essence of a union is to consummate and procreate. By its logical understanding and principle of normalcy, a union that seeks to consummate and procreate alone itself does not become a union without the presence of certain factors- companionship, love, trust, freedom, security etc. Charity begins at home- a consummation which leads to the existence of another being in an environment lacking the stated factors is like the birth of another evil in the world. Are we saying that consummation or procreation is the bedrock of a union? When an average person condemns homosexuality, his words reflect his mind- a mind angry at why proper sexual intercourse would be absent in a union- a man and a woman in a sexual state. But does it even paint us as sincere in our strive against the terror of homosexuality? Gays, lesbians and others in that line listen to our arguments and read our takes, but they laugh and develop a stronger will because we are doing the right work with the wrong tool. Would it have made a difference if a man feels that happiness is what he wants in a union and he sees it in an old friend who has bought his trust without sexual attachment? He is free, happy, contented and complete around him. Does that make him gay? A union between a man and a woman that leaves the woman as a sex slave, victim of constant battery and emotional trauma is a union. Right? As long as it is a man and a woman and ‘sex’ is involved- they have satisfied the society, but the essence of life is defeated- freedom, love, happiness, peace etc, etc. On the moral and cultural grounds, our arguments are dangerous and they make us appear like sexual perverts before homosexuals and unprejudiced thinkers. We must start seeing unions beyond a sexual venture before we can convince them that nature itself does not understand an unexplainable attraction to the same sex.
Can you tell your boy child to avoid closeness to the next door neighbour’s son because he can’t have babies for him and sound reasonable? Other explanation or reasons will do but not with our chant about consummation and procreation. In a bid to nip the danger of homosexuality at the bud through moral justification, we have ridiculed our own struggles before the other side. Reasons abound to condemn homosexuality on a moral ground but not the one we sell about- it is just not about sexual intercourse.
David Oluwasegun Ogundipe is a political satirist, social critic and poet.