f defined, homosexuality is a practice whereby persons of the same sex engage in sexual conduct just like persons of the opposite sex would.
Homosexuality might seem a new practice to most people in our society. As such, accusations have been levelled against the donor community as its propagator. But is homosexuality really that new among us?
Biblical reference provides a true time-frame of its existence, thereby clarifying on that haze. An account of Genesis 19: 1-11 narrates of it having been perpetrated as far back as 4 000 years ago.
Lately, the donor community in collaboration with some gay rights activists, have pushed homosexual petitions at our government’s doorstep. And they have exerted pressure, fighting for abolishment of laws perceived as infringing on gay rights.
Subsequently, the petitions have triggered a heated debate across the nation. In a nasty tug-of-war, harsh words have been exchanged between dissenting opinions.
What is evident though is that such a petition has encountered tough resistance. Besides ordinary citizens, the clergy and some local top-brass political figures have joined the bandwagon in condemning homosexual legalisation.
Even before the advent of religion in our society, our culture has only accepted matrimonial union between persons of opposite sex. That humane conscience or Umunthu is deeply engraved in us. That is what was inculcated and passed on for generations.
It, however, cannot be disputed that homosexuality has existed among us all along. But the fact that it was practised in total secrecy was vindication that it was immoral.
When religion was introduced to our society, their teachings corresponded well with that Umunthu principle. For instance, both viewed homosexuality as immorality.
Furthermore, those subscribing to biblical views would attest to fact that Jehovah- God who created life itself, detests homosexuality. The reader may refer to Leviticus 20:13, with a cross-check on Romans 1: 26, 27.
God designed the human anatomy in such a way that only persons of opposite sex could marry. Any sexual practice out of that natural order was a sin against him. That was why his warning is stern for all those disobeying that law. Let the reader refer to 1 Corinthians 6: 9.
The Malawi Constitution refers to statutes or laws governing the State. Malawi was once a colonial territory. As such, most of the legal traditions and laws presently being practised were adopted from the Western constitution. That included the law on homosexuality.
Is it not ironic then, that the West should come to us today, and accuse our law on homosexuality as an infringement on gay rights? Is it not the same law that this country adopted from them long ago? All the State is doing is putting that law into effect.
Further still, that Penal Code (during its adoption) carried under it other equally punishable sex offences—bestiality and incest. Legal translation of it by colonial rule then stated that such acts were immoral. That statement resonated with what missionaries earlier had preached. And indeed that holds true even now. Offenders of such practices are tried by law and sentenced accordingly.
Should the gay rights activists then not be campaigning for abolishment of that Penal Code in its entirety? That is to suggest that bestiality and incest be included as well.
Is the donor community willing to openly declare here and now, that they have carefully deliberated and unanimously concluded that homosexuality, bestiality and incest were no longer sex offences?
The Penal Code governing such sexual acts does not segregate between the said offences. Under democratic values then, it would only be fair to grant bestiality or incest equal freedoms too. If homosexuality can be freed from constitutional bondage, so can bestiality. Let the pendulum swing both ways.
Finally, after we have wrestled and the dust has settled, be the jury. Imagine that you were the State president, mulling over this sticky and tricky situation. You have a crumbling economy to salvage. The donor master dangles a bagful of aid money before your nose. Only the neck of that sack is tied not with string, but a homosexual petition. As head of State, you swore under oath to protect the Constitution. And you have a people to lead-—a people whose culture does not condone homosexuality. What would you do? n