Gay Rights Advancement in Africa: Watching Our Legislatures with Eagle Eyes
On Friday, June 26, 2015, many African Countries, including Liberia, were shocked by news of the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to rule in favor of ‘same sex marriages across the country.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling – considered by gay rights activists as their biggest victory yet, prevents states from banning such marriages – an issue which seems to now divide America, reports suggest.
President Obama – who, three years ago, supported same sex marriage in the face of fast-changing U.S public opinion in the midst of his 2012 re-election campaign, welcomed and praised the nation’s highest court’s 5-4 ruling as “a victory for America”, indicating from the White House Rose Garden that Social progress sometimes comes in small increments, “and then there are days like this, when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt”, according to Vermont State News.Net.
14 same-sex couples and two widowers, who challenged gay marriage bans in Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio, were just a few of the estimated 650,000 same-sex couples in the US – 125,000 of whom are raising children. Vermont State News said Lawyers for the four states argued that their bans were justified by tradition and the distinctive characteristics of opposite-sex unions. The issue, they said, should be resolved democratically, at the polls and in state legislatures, rather than by judges. The challengers included same-sex couples who wanted to marry, those who sought to have their lawful out-of-state marriage recognized, as well as those who wanted to amend a birth or death certificate with their marriage status.
With such ruling now in place, it is likely to impact other (third World) countries, especially in Africa.
Even though U. S. Supreme Court ruling has no legal force outside the United States, gay rights activists (who are principal international donors) in many parts of the world may want to capitalize on such to help their cause.
Moreover, judging from a speech in Geneva by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a U.S Presidential Memorandum on gay rights in December of 2011 that the “White House will use foreign aid to advance gay rights”, it wouldn’t be a surprise if such foreign policy takes effect during these latter days of the Obama administration now that the Federal Court has ruled in favor of same-sex marriage across the United States.
Just as the four U.S states argued, such relationship may be forbidden by “tradition and the distinctive characteristics of opposite-sex unions”.
But again, we are worried that with most African countries greatly dependent on foreign aid despite the availability of natural resources of commercial values, the west may still succeed in strangulating nations of the continent to succumb to their whims and caprices.
For Liberia- the land of our nativity, it may just be a matter of time, being very cognizant of the nature of Legislators we have, to accept such satanic and un-human behavioral pattern. We know them, and we know how they pass laws.
But considering the respect and dignity of our African and Liberian tradition, we as a people of the continent, can only begin now to watch our respective Legislatures and Parliaments with eagle eyes, regarding the “advancement of so-called gay rights”.