25.5.11

Our reality

It is an unfortunate country in which the only support for LGBT rights comes from the Catholic Church. In a statement the Catholic Church has stated its position on homosexuality saying the people who engage in the practice were human beings who deserve respect – which is far more than anyone else in the country will concede.

Nonetheless, as the homosexuality war continues and the accusation of supporting gay rights (human rights) has become the greatest slur that can be hurled at an individual, party or organisation, one has to wonder what will happen to Zambia come the next elections.

The homosexuality debate has long ceased to about homophobia. Instead it has become a display of the failure of the democratic ideal, the lack of political dogma and the continuing and entrenched disregard for our people’s reality regardless of our gender, sexuality or religious orientation.

Moreover the groups entrusted as our defence from the excesses of our state - civil society and churches are allowing themselves to be manipulated, to be drawn into petty skirmishes at the cost of the real battle – authentic political representation and leadership.

Any non-governmental organisation that challenges the government to account for its actions is immediately accused by another NGO or religious organisation of being political. Of course challenging poverty and corruption and demanding political transparency is political! But must one be in a political party to demand accountability and honesty? 

Photograph; "Sophie" by Mary Sibande

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