Being gay is not a Western invention; it is a human reality.
And Even Rick Perry got into the act.:
"Just when you thought Barack Obama couldn't get any more out of touch with America's values, AP reports his administration wants to make foreign aid decisions based on gay rights.- Advertisement -
We can see the flames from Africa now, and they are not coming from bonfires declaring liberty for LGBTQ people. They are the flames coming from countries like Uganda and Nigeria. They are the flames of anger and vengeance being wreaked upon gay communities. Where the fires came from, however, is something that should concern everyone in America, because, like some perverted Prometheus, America's Christian Right gave Africa it's fires. Clinton was right to say being gay was not a Western invention, however, she should also have said that homophobia was certainly a Western invention, promoted in Africa by Christian Right leaders such as Scott Lively, Lou Engle and, to a certain extent, Rick Warren.
The Christian Right's exportation of homophobia has been happening over a number of years, well ahead of the "Kill-the-gays" bill in Uganda.
Think Progress has a good list of Christian Right reactions including Rick Santorum , Peter LaBarbera (Americans for Truth About Homosexuality), Peter Sprigg (Family Research Council), Matt Barber (Liberty Counsel) and Pat Robertson, who warned of God's wrath and claimed that it's really Christianity that's being persecuted (see below).
"I kissed a girl and liked it - and I got ten years in jail."
Nigeria has reacted so strongly to Clinton's speech that it purportedly added MORE offenses in its anti-gay bill. "To hell with them," said lawmaker Jakari Mohammed , referring to other denouncing the bill. It could be argued that Nigeria has seen same-sex "marriages" for centuries (actually as part of a surrogate tradition, with a woman marrying another woman for her husband), but somehow traditions have a way of disappearing and appearing when according to expediency.
According to the current bill, kissing in public would be an offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Anti-gay vendettas - like those in Uganda - will become rife in the most corrupt country in the world.
And Nigeria has never been alone in its attitudes about gays. Here is a list of countries that could definitely be cut off from American aid:
Algeria Angola Botswana Cameroon Egypt Gambia Ghana Guinea* Lesotho Liberia Libya Malawi* Mauritania Mauritius Morocco Nigeria Senegal Sierra Leone Somalia South Sudan Sudan Swaziland Tanzania Togo Tunisia Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe
*carry the death penalty for homosexuality.
Clinton's speech was concise and eloquent (a full transcript is HERE), and the group gave her a standing ovation, so what did she say in particular that inflamed so many Africans and "social conservatives" like Rick Perry?
1. Many LGBT Americans have endured violence and harassment in their own lives, and for some, including many young people, bullying and exclusion are daily experiences.