I don’t know the full details of this news flash that was just WhatsApped to me by my dear brother and old friend from Ghana but presently living in one of the small suburban towns right here in Worcester, Massachusetts, by the name of Mr. Thomas Remalex Jefferson. I prefer to call him Nii Osu Alata, for that is the only way that I can feel his indigenous Africanity. This flash news item is from Uganda, East Africa, where a gay couple has been sentenced to an unspecified prison term for simply belonging to the LGBTQI community. The interesting and curious catch here is that the unnamed couple has been offered the redemptive condition of being released from prison, if only one of them becomes pregnant.
It is not clear to yours truly whether the gay couple are a man and a woman placed in the same jail cell or two same-sex couple, as a means of proving the practical invalidity or “unnaturalness” of gay sex or sexuality. Either way, there is something patently absurd about this form of discipline or punishment. Patently absurd because Uganda is officially and globally recognized as a Democratic Republic, which also means that there are rules governing sexual intercourse between two consenting adults, which immediately makes this sort of punishment a flagrant violation of the fundamental human rights of these two apparent scapegoats. Apparent scapegoats because it well does not appear to me or any critically thinking reader or spectator, for that matter, that these two immured couple are the only LGBTQI-oriented couple in the entire Dynastic Democratic Republic of Uganda, where President Yoweri Museveni has been Executive Chief of State for some four decades now. As well, the basis upon which this couple was scapegoated was not made clear in the one-sentence news summary dispatched to yours truly by his good, old friend and relative by nationality and long-term association and partial ethnic affiliation.
In any event, what equally makes such conditional edict inescapably preposterous inheres in the fact that not all the sexual activities of heterosexual couples are known to result in human reproduction, irrespective of whether the couple are classified as being smack within the childbearing age or category. Now, I haven’t conducted the necessary research, but it well appears to me that at the very least, 10-to-20-percent of heterosexual couples, both married and long-term associated couples who are sexually actively engaged, do not end up bearing children. So, but for the bizarre logic of Mr. Museveni, it would appear that such heterosexual couples are not making productive and legitimate use of their sexuality. So, why are these “unproductive” heterosexual couples not being rounded up and promptly dumped into the slammer or stir house, as the British are wont to designate the same?
In other words, is it not about time that it was globally recognized that human reproduction was not necessarily inextricably interlinked with heterosexual intercourse? Plus, isn’t it also rather ironic and farcical that countries like Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda, for only the most strikingly obvious examples, that are having great difficulty feeding, clothing and employing sizable percentages of their able-bodied citizenry would legislate and predicate human sexual reproduction on the exclusive practice of heterosexuality, when it is also very obvious that LGBTQI or homosexual culture may actually be a blessing in disguise, as a means of significantly reducing the potentiality of population explosion on Planet Earth. You see, what I am clearly driving at here is that the normative argument in favor of heterosexual culture may not be as simple or simplistic as African leaders like Mr. Museveni may be trying to make it facilely appear.
Then also, I have before me a well-crafted opinion piece written by Prof. Henry Kwasi Prempeh, formerly of Seton Hall Law School, in New Jersey, right here in the United States, titled “Have We Traded Our Republic for a Theocracy?” (Ghanaweb.com 2/26/21), in which the current Executive-Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD) puts up a very eloquent and puissant argument that meticulously exposes the wrongheadedness of the anti-LGBTQI proponents of statutory or legal proscription, by aptly and poignantly highlighting the historical fact that interracial marriages and conjugal cohabitation once constituted unarguable criminal offences in the United States, South African and other countries that prided themselves with civilized enlightenment. For my part, I have absolutely no problem fully appreciating the thrust of Prof. Prempeh’s article because in 1870, or thereabouts, one of my maternal great-great-grandmothers married an Ewe man from the Peki-Blengo Royal Family. Our branch or lineage of the Akyem-Nkronso Royal Family would be promptly and summarily ostracized for the next 100 years! My ancestors were criminally guilty of the heinous contamination of our sacred Akan blood! It appeared then that the Ewe were descended from a relatively lower species of humanity.
Of course, that was a patent and an egregious violation of the fundamental human rights of a whole royal lineage, in retrospect, on grounds of my great-great-grandmother’s visionary recognition of the coequal humanity of the Ewe by an Akyem woman, who was also very likely accused of abject and gross sexual incontinence of a bestial order. Dear Reader, you just think about the sort of nightmare that my family had to endure and still endures to this day. I would be born a little over two generations later, but the scars are still fresh and painful, almost as if that blunt and, in retrospect, deadly psychological and psychical wound had been inflicted just within the last 24 hours.
*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
February 27, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]