In 2003, the United States Supreme Court declared all “anti-sodomy” laws unconstitutional. However, 13 of 50 states retain the laws and periodically make arrests charging alleged homosexual activity. In the US, argument against homosexuality is launched most vehemently and vocally from the male Christian right. Many other cultures and religions tend to shy away from discussing homosexuality or deny its existence altogether—nonetheless, legislating against it either formally (Nigeria and Uganda 2014) or attempting to discourage it through violent persecution and fear-based propaganda (Iraq and Russia). According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), there are 77 countries around the world where homosexual activity is punishable under law. Other sources site the number as high as 82 nations, of which 37 are on the Africa continent.

Whatever the number of countries or cultures, invariably, the assault is focused directly at the presumed acts of sexual intimacy between two men (anal sex and fellatio)—sodomy. However, there’s no public objection aimed at heterosexual intimacy where the female is penetrated in the anus by the male or where fellatio and cunnilingus are performed—although desired and prevalent sexual behaviors, by definition, these acts are also sodomy. Likewise, there’s little community rallying against the supposed sexual intimacy between two women—rather, it’s often assumed, the subject of male erotic fantasy and prevalent in adult entertainment.

Visit http://ilga.org/ for interactive map
Visit ilga.org for interactive map

The bible says…
What of the religious argument against homosexuality? Essentially, protestation against homosexuality is firmly grounded in religious text, whereby sodomy is said to be unnatural; not conducive toward procreating. The King James Version (KJV) of the Christian Bible (published, 1611 CE), Romans 1:26-27, reads:

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their woman did change the natural use into that which is against nature.
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

Yes, by definition, fellatio, cunnilingus and anal sex are all sodomy; neither effectuates procreation—directly. Then, the vocal religious opponents of homosexuality never engage in unnatural sexual conduct/sodomy? Also, religiously devout couples cease all sexual activity, however remaining faithful in their marriage, if the wife is known to be unable to conceive or is beyond menopause, or the husband is impotent or unable to sire a child? So then, the religiously dutiful only engage in vaginal sexual intercourse, exclusively within the bounds of matrimony for the sole purpose of procreation—the natural “use” of the woman?

Religious texts have historically and continue to be interpreted per convenience and interests in the justification of individual and group behaviours—nearly the whole of Black Africa was enslaved under sanctioning by the Christian Church, so as to “civilize” the “heathen savages.” More particularly, at one time or another, the faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have pointed to Genesis 9:20 KJV as the rationale supporting the false doctrine of African/Black servitude:

20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Thus, the entire race of Black skinned peoples is cursed to be enslaved because a father gets drunk, falls out “nekkid” and punishes his son? This is the type of kangaroo court justice that damns the whole world. Interesting, most religious scholars, ancient and contemporary, citing various religious texts from which the KJV Bible was derived, are of the view that Ham witnessing “the nakedness of his father,” doesn’t warrant the severity of Noah’s “curse,” but rather homosexual, oedipal and incestuous elements underlie the father-son estrangement. Apparently, homosexuality has existed since the flood and arguably before it—a new Sunday school lesson. As well, few know of the hermaphroditic pre-dynastic Kemetan/Egyptian/African Nile River inundation god Hapi; a male deity depicted with a woman’s breasts and a penis—transsexual, intersexual, all ancient history. Aside, there’s an additional plot twist in this “drunk, nekkid daddy debacle,” whereby Noah’s curse turns Ham’s skin black. Contrasting, an often used “African-American” threat of bodily harm warns, “. . . I’ll slap the black off you.” However, Noah being white—according to Michelangelo’s 14th century biblical depictions—actually slapped the black onto Ham. No wonder the Africans welcomed the Europeans to stay and elucidate on these perplexing biblical tales.

Hapi, God of the Nile Inundation, is both male and female in appearance, with the false beard of the pharaoh, pendulous breasts (indicating his powers of nourishment) and a paunch. Vatican Museum - Egyptian Collection. Photo © Brian J. McMorrow
Hapi, God of the Nile Inundation, is both male and female in appearance, with the false beard of the pharaoh, pendulous breasts (indicating his powers of nourishment) and a paunch. Vatican Museum – Egyptian Collection. Photo © Brian J. McMorrow

Regarding biblical verse, interpretation is crucial in its application upon the behaviors of humanity. Marcus Garvey, the “godfather” of Pan-Africanism and founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA, 1914), claiming global membership over 4 million at its height, states:

“Religion is one’s opinion and belief in some ethical truth. To be a Christian is to have the religion of Christ, and so to be a believer of Mohammed is to be a Mohammedan but there are so many religions that every man seems to be a religion unto himself. No two persons think alike, even if they outwardly profess the same faith, so we have as many religions in Christianity as we have believers [Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey, edited by Amy Jacques-Garvey (New York, Universal Publishing House, 1923)]

The monopoly on truth and morality
Whether believer or free-thinker, every individual has a right to believe, not believe, interpret beliefs and behave in a manner befitting their own interests. Despite deafening sanctimonious dogma, no one has a monopoly on truth and morality—there is no “right” for everyone. Neither the devout nor their “prayer books” may impose on, discriminate against or persecute anyone for behaving in accord with their own beliefs within the parameters of civility—especially when it concerns the bedroom. If you oppose homosexual activity, don’t engage in it. If you oppose homosexual marriage, don’t marry a homosexual. It’s really just that simple.

Returning briefly to Romans 1, verses 26 and 27 are ambiguous passages to be interpolated, whereas the so-called ten commandments—stolen from the 42 Declarations of Innocence/Admonitions of Goddess Maát (3rd – 2nd millenniums BCE, Egypt/Africa)—are explicit in their prohibitions, yet adultery, murder, theft, polytheism, and coveting are rampant and don’t receive a fraction of the moral outrage that is directed toward assumed sexual acts occurring between two consenting adult men—homosexual sex is repugnant and unlawful, but extramarital sex (infidelity) is not? Although adults enjoy sexual prerogative, there is an irrational fear among many that they or their children will be seduced and converted through observation, proximity or some other form of osmosis induced homosexuality—homophobia, hypocrisy or both?

Despite this ridiculousness, there is a curiouser contention existing between the religiously high-minded and homosexuality. At the mere whisper of homosexuality, those who profess piety in thought and behaviour—superfluously quoting “scripture” and exhibitionistically exalting the divine—immediately concern themselves with the suspected sodomy of a relationship; all thought converges on the sexual intimacies between two adults; not the beauty in the sharing of lives, one person with another. Which behaviour is aberrant; the assumed sexual activity of loving adults or the projecting of imagined sodomy and sexual voyeurism? What seems to be ignored is that within many homosexual and heterosexual relationships there is no physical intimacy beyond embracing and light kissing. Why is there such an abundance of moral meddling regarding someone else’s genitalia and what they do with it?

Finally, as said before, everyone does not ascribe to the same religious doctrine and the devout do not have a monopoly on truth and morality. If one believes a behaviour is a “sin” in accord with a particular belief system, don’t engage. As well, it’s not the obligation of a believer to impose upon another their religion or morality—especially if the tenets of that belief aren’t adhered to by the pious—the height of hypocrisy. Every human being has a right to live their life in a manner of their choosing and to share it with whomever they choose. To legislate against homosexuality as sodomy is political folly—while most have engaged in sodomy of one form or another—when there are actual atrocities in the world, particularly on the African continent, which need to be addressed (rape, child and elder abuse (physical and sexual), intermittent electricity, polluted environments, governmental corruption, domestic violence, illiteracy, collapsing infrastructure, unemployment, abject poverty, malnutrition, mother and child mortality, human trafficking, flooding, drought, war, famine, disease, public urination and defecation . . .), but are instead ignored or left to worsen while offering only prayer for remedy—this is the real sodomy.