By John Nagenda
It is a truth universally acknowledged that this column cuts directly and to the point to issues concerned. But there are subjects which spring so deeply from within the human psyche that attempting to ride roughshod over them becomes dangerously counter productive.
The subject this week: Regarding Homosexuality and Lesbianism, comes high on the list, but that should never make it a no-go area for serious discussion. Or that if you take a pro-stance on same-sex love you should be banished from polite society. Equally, if you are personally dead against it, that in itself is not a hanging offence: you are after all only exercising your right to have an opinion in the vexed matter. So far, no sensible person can surely quarrel with the foregoing. But let the bar be raised and acrimony will break out like a rash!
Another thing: I really resent the word Gay being annexed and monopolised by homosexuals and lesbians. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (all 2515 large pages of it) says, of Gay: â€œFull of or disposed to joy and mirth; light-hearted, exuberantly cheerful, sportive, merry.â€ Oh, I want some of that! I bet many others, including those who annexed it - leaving the rest of us to be morose, grey, boring; in short not gay - merry with what they stole.
When I was much younger, we called male, same-sex lovers, Queers or, sneeringly, Faggots. The word for a woman of that ilk was Lesbo or, more aggressively, Dyke (there was an old Dutch story of a girl who heroically saved a town by putting her finger in a hole in the dyke to stop the water burying its citizens). Organise a competition to find a suitable alternative (mine is same-sex lovers, ssl) so that Gay returns to us all, Queer and otherwise.
Of course that will have no effect on the practice itself. And that is where same-sex loversâ€™ haters will do their nut! The recent month I was away a parliamentarian introduced a Bill of hugely draconian measure, including heavy penalties on those who wouldnâ€™t report same-sex lovers they knew about! In the US there was a man whose name, McCarthy, is now a synonym (as mccarthyism) for cruel witch-hunting. For him Communism was the hot issue, although he would doubtless have looked at same-sex love as a product of that political system.
In the Inquisition period, evil prelates tortured people who deviated from current beliefs, including by saying the world was not flat but round! Now we all laugh about these odd characters. Lower down the scale, people were tortured for being left-handed (indeed called sinister for it) or being very short, or being blind: in short for not being normal. I believe, and I am raising the bar, that we must laugh at this MP and others like him: laugh and stay sane. What crime have same-sex lovers committed, per se, by being who they are? Would those who believe God made mankind exclude them, and on what grounds?
You may find it repugnant that men have sex with other men, and women with women. They, on the other hand, might find the â€œusualâ€ way repugnant, because of their nature.
Probably same-sex lovers will call me traditionally naÃ¯ve when I talk about the â€œusualâ€ way, just short of the â€œnormalâ€ way (normal to whom?) but I find there is logic attached to words like usual, normal, average. And that logicality comes from what â€œgoes onâ€ in the society involved. And that society must get involved in change, with the changing times, to cater for its diverse citizenry. I would see no harm at all, no sense of any criminality, in adult, consenting, same-sex love relationships.
Of course, involving children, or under-age youths, is criminal and must be stamped on, but obviously this happens in heterosexual habits also. I have a deeper confession, still to do with the time and age in which we live. Because in most societies people are still transfixed, even horrified, by signs of same-sex love brazenly exhibited, I would urge decorousness. (In many situations this even goes for heterosexual lovers.)
The question to put to ourselves is: does in-your-face behaviour hasten or hinder the fateful day when lovers of all variations are accepted for what they are? To tell the truth, for the time being, I would go as far as refusing same-sex couples adopting young children; because the outcome would almost certainly be that those children would take after these parents. Also, I wouldnâ€™t allow same-sex marketing to young children. But there again I am only considering â€œusual, normal, averageâ€.
When times have changed, if they change enough, then these words will include a leavening of same-sex relationships. Gradualism is not a sin. But hunting down people for same-sex love, I believe to be a sin, against Love, one of Godâ€™s greatest gifts to mankind. (I say all this without being a homosexual.) Parliament should not pass this Bill.