Africa and homosexuality


Much brouhaha has been made concerning the passing of pieces of legislation in Nigeria and Uganda that criminalise acts of homosexuality. These two countries have stirred the ire of Western nations who consider their actions to infringe on rights of LGBT individuals. Governments around the world pass laws all the time without any of us paying attention but laws around homosexuality are keenly watched by many influential groups today.

When the president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni finally affixed his signature to a law that authorises stiff penalties for people caught in same sex relations, the United Nations’ Ban Kin-moon released a statement of disapproval. And so did President Barack Obama of the US and our very own archbishop Desmond Tutu. Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda and 36 other African countries.

The issue with the latest law in Uganda is that it strengthens the sanctions against those found guilty of homosexual acts. What is interesting regarding the situation in Uganda is the process that culminated in the signing of this law. The president had opted to delay signing the law while soliciting scientific proof of whether or not homosexuality is genetic or behavioural. He not only sought this advice from his own scientists but from the scientific community in the US.    

Nature or nurture?
The Guardian quotes this statement from President Museveni, “I therefore encourage the US government to help us by working with our scientists to study whether, indeed, there are people who are born homosexual.” He continued: “When that is proved, we can review this legislation.” What the president sought to establish is whether homosexuality is nature or nurture. In other words: are people born that way or are they nurtured into this lifestyle?

If homosexuality is biological and not just behavioral then why was the president not given this proof when he requested it? President Obama wrote a letter that insinuated that the US might discontinue giving aid to Uganda because of this law. The US president said that this law might ‘complicate our valued relationship’ in reference to the US partnership with Uganda. Is this relationship based on Uganda being subservient to an American value system? Is this not blackmail?

I am not aware of any African country seeking to impose its views and values on the countries of the West but Westerners think they have a right to do this. Why do Western nations arrogate themselves as being custodians of morality and virtue? Many people in Uganda are against homosexuality because of cultural and religious reasons and the president has to take their views into consideration.

Another issue that the president had to deal with is American organisations who are actively recruiting Uganda’s children into homosexuality. Simon Lokodo, Uganda’s Ethics and Integrity minister talked about the “commercialization of homosexuality.” In other words Uganda is not just going after gays and lesbians but is trying to protect its children from paedophiles. Countries enact laws in order to protect their values and therefore the laws are a reflection of a country’s values.

For instance most countries value human life and this is why they have laws against murder. Countries cannot be expected to have laws that are inconsistent with their values because this will give rise to anarchy. To change laws we must first influence the value system that gave rise to them. By exercising its right as a sovereign country Uganda has been accused of committing an act not dissimilar to racial discrimination.

This suggests that homosexuality is seen as a biological factor just like race is. If this is true then where is the empirical evidence to prove this? Personally I am not in favor of stiff penalties against homosexuals because I do not think countries should try and legislate morality. If we legislate morality then we should also deal with adultery, lying, and other aberrations.

However we should also not give special legal protection for homosexuality because this suggests that we are actively promoting it. The West and the well-resourced homosexual lobby group want us to create a raft of laws to promote homosexuality and present it as an alternative lifestyle. Through their militancy they seem to be gaining ground but that does not mean they have succeeded in convincing people that homosexuality is natural.  


  1. It is amazing how the west and especially the US manipulate countries in Africa to adopt their standard of morality in the name of human right. But at the same time take away the right of Africans when they decide to reject the stardard of the West. The question African nations should not shy away from is ; What kind of relationship really exit between them and the west, if every time they refuse their dictates they threatened to withdrawn their aids from them? It’s obvious that there is no friendship , but just a case of exploitation. The West using their so called financial ability to enslave Africa by manipulating them. The west should keep their aids and their ideas of morality / human right to them selves. What is more human than for an individual to lead a normal sexual life. Homosexuality is the abuse of human right in the highest order… Even animals knows that is wrong to mate with same sex, as the west lost their mind or what? Why are they not aggitating for Asian continent to follow suit with their idea of homosexuality as a human right? Why has the West not come to the aid of the innocent people and children been slaughtered on a daily basis in northern Nigeria, or dont they have the right ro live? The Wests are hypocrates, shame to on any Africa nation who believe they are friends with them.. I believe it is human right for African nations to have the right to define morality according to their people and not the stardard of the West.

    • African nations Tony need to be self-sufficient in order to avoid this aid trap. They are really being manipulated with this aid. Indeed the West does not comment on what is being in Asia and also about the persecution of Christians which is against the principle of freedom of religion. They never touch Arab countries because of the oil issue. Look at how they were quick to deal with Gaddafi during the uprising in Libya but are dragging their feet with Assad of Syria who is killing Syrians with impunity. Double standards. They don’t say anything about the killings in Nigeria because the life of an African is less important to them. They have their priorities which include the promotion of homosexuality, abortions, etc. This is their standard of morality.

  2. A very well written and reasoned article. Pastor you are a gem.

  3. Can a person be born gay?
    In 1996, The Advocate, a gay and lesbian magazine, asked readers what they believed the potential impact would be to the advancement of gay and lesbian rights if a scientific discovery proves a biological basis for homosexuality. About 61 percent of the magazine’s readers asserted that such scientific research would advance the cause of gays and lesbians and lead to more positive attitudes toward homosexuality. For example, if one can be born gay, much as one can be born with brown eyes, then a fair society could not possibly condemn him as being unnatural or immoral. To that end, gay activists and the liberal media have actively encouraged the idea that homosexuality is inherited and unchangeable, and researchers have diligently sought scientific evidence to back up that claim. Unfortunately for the pro-homosexuality movement, the research on this subject has failed to establish any scientific evidence that shows a purely genetic basis for homosexuality.
    The controversy began with the work of Simon LeVay, M.D. In 1991, LeVay tested the brains of 41 cadavers and noted differences between homosexual versus heterosexual males. The hypothalamus, an area believed to regulate sexual activity, was smaller in homosexual males than in heterosexuals. Dr. LeVay believed the differences proved a biological basis for homosexuality, but he failed to consider a variety of reasons, other than genetic, that the brains were different. First, all 19 of the homosexual cadavers had died of AIDS, a disease known to affect the neurological system. It could be that the disease had shrunk the hypothalamus. Second, scientists who study brain biochemistry know that the way a person thinks affects the way his brain functions; specifically, it affects the neurochemicals released in the brain and the way certain pathways grow and change. Could the structural brain differences have started with the difference in thoughts between homosexuals and heterosexuals, rather than with genetics? Third, there is no proof linking hypothalamus size with homosexuality, either as a cause or effect.
    In 1993, Dr. Dean Hamer, a pro-gay activist, made the astounding claim in his research that there may be a gene for homosexuality. His team of researchers began a series of gene linkage studies, in which families with several homosexuals underwent genetic analysis to determine if any chromosomal variants could be found in the family and if the variant correlated with those individuals who displayed the homosexuality. Although Hamer’s study sample was very small, he found a significant linkage between gays and a marker on the maternal X chromosome, Xq28. Additional studies with larger sample sizes produced conflicting results in the linkage to Xq28. It is important to note that Hamer’s experiments have never been validated; in fact, other groups of researchers have discredited Hamer’s work as non-replicable or even fraudulent.
    Even if there were some genetic commonalities among homosexuals, associated characteristics do not prove a causal link. To illustrate, a genetic study among professional athletes would probably show that a significant percentage of these stars share certain genetic sequences. One might erroneously conclude that the genetic sequences for increased speed, agility and strength prove that engaging in professional sports is a heritable trait. However, no genetic sequence can account for human choice and the effects of environment. People who have the genetic traits of an athlete may naturally gravitate toward professional sports or be encouraged to play. Although athletes share some common traits, being a professional athlete itself is not heritable. The culture in which an individual matures and the choices he makes decide his career path.
    There are many researchers who cite environmental factors as major contributors to homosexual feelings. They strongly believe that negative early childhood experiences in an unloving or non-supportive home environment are a critical part of this process. Common elements seem to include an emotionally withdrawn or physically absent father and an overbearing, fawning or over-protective mother. In many cases, there are reports of physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Disruption of gender identification may contribute to the development toward homosexuality. This process begins between ages two and four. During this phase, children move from their primary connection with the mother to seek out deeper attachments with the parent of the same gender. For males, the relationship between a boy and his father is the primary means of developing a secure gender identity. As a father and son share time together, the father expresses his value and interest in the son and gives to the son a sense of masculinity. The boy begins to develop a sense of his own gender by understanding himself in relation to his father. Conversely, a mother who is distant, abusive, or physically absent or a mother who is viewed by her daughter as being weak (such as when the mother is abused by males) may disrupt her daughter’s identification with being feminine.
    Peer attachments with same-sex friends also play a role in developing gender identity. Eventually, after years of interaction and bonding with same-sex peers, children enter puberty and begin to pay attention to the opposite sex. When this natural process is disrupted, it feels natural for a child to love and crave the attention of those of the same sex. When children with certain temperaments initially perceive rejection of the same-sex parent, they detach and bond with the other parent. They begin to adopt the patterns and attributes of the opposite sex. However, there is always a longing for a connection with the same-sex parent, love and affirmation from the same gender. These children believe that they were born that way, having craved love and attachment with the same-sex parents for as long as they can remember. Homosexual behavior thus begins as an emotional craving, not a sexual craving. It reflects a legitimate need for non-sexual love, an emotional need that ultimately becomes sexualized with the onset of puberty.
    Most researchers have concluded that sexual orientation is a complex, multifactorial issue in which biological, social and psychological factors combine to play a role in the ultimate sexual orientation of an individual. According to Julie Harren, Ph.D., the formula for this interplay between factors might be represented by these equations:
    –Genes + Brain Wiring + Prenatal Hormonal Environment = Temperament.
    –Parents + Peers + Experiences = Environment.
    –Temperament + Environment = Homosexual Orientation.
    What’s missing from these equations are the existence of a soul, the choice of the individual, and the temptation of the devil (see James 1:14).
    Although it may be easier, psychologically, for a homosexual to believe that homosexuality is inborn, the accumulated scientific evidence suggests otherwise. Homosexuals may have a genetic predisposition, but human choice is still a factor. A predisposition is not a constraint. Ultimately, sexual orientation is determined outside of the womb. For those who are unhappy living a homosexual lifestyle, this truth offers hope for change. Clinical experience has shown that, with help, some homosexuals can change learned responses and defense mechanisms to early painful experiences.
    In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, the sin of homosexuality is listed right next to theft. Just as there is no genetic excuse for stealing, there is no genetic excuse for homosexuality. Environment, culture, and choice make one a thief, and the same factors make one a homosexual.
    Christ died for homosexuals. God loves persons of all sexual orientations, just as He loves all sinners. The Bible says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ “is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). The gospel of Christ “is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). In Christ alone we find the definitive source for healing, restoration, forgiveness, and comfort. He is the way by which we can all experience the affirming, unconditional love, value, and acceptance of our Father in heaven.

    • Wow Hanno, this is good contribution to this debate. I would not add a word to what you have just said. Only to say thank you.

  4. Excellent article! In the US, rumours abound that Obama himself is homosexual. The energy he spends encouraging and promoting that life-style – and abortion (55 million since 1973) – is a sad reflection on the state of that nation and indeed, where the world is heading. Pray withou ceasing.

    • I did not know about the rumour T.Meter but is clearly that evil is the order of the day in the US and we need to pray for this wonderful country. Personally I was disappointed when Obama was returned to the White House. His presidency has caused much damage to the cause of Christianity in the US.

  5. I’m Ugandan and I emphatically do not agree with this anti-gay law. It should be repealed! If you’re going to have an anti-gay law, then why not have an anti-adultery law, and an anti-fornication law?

    • I am inclined to agree that there is a lack of even-handedness. I do not concur with the gay activist agenda of insisting that everyone endorse their lifestyle as “natural and normal”, when clearly it is not, and I regard same-sex “marriage” as a travesty. The problem is that the homosexual lifestyle is being pushed in our faces by the world’s media, not to mention the “gay pride” events where there has been morally depraved exhibitionism. So where does one draw the line? Christian firms are being sued when they do not want to be party to endorsing homosexuality.
      However, regardless of sexual orientation, the law should provide for prosecution of those who knowingly infect other people with sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, as well as those who molest and sexually abuse children.

      • I am in agreement with you there Observer. Society is literally being forced to accept other people’s sexual preference as if it is God-ordained. Something is wrong about that.

    • Hi Vikki,
      I understand your being aggravated by this law and indeed there should be consistency. Someone from Uganda contacted me on Facebook and told that your country used to have laws against adultery as well but because of the influence of Western nations this law was changed. Isn’t the problem the influence of outsiders in the values of your nation. Your own president and Ethics and Integrity minister says your children are being recruited into homosexuality by Western organisations operating in your country. Isn’t the law also meant to address this? Is this not a concern to you?

  6. Abominations lead to the lake of fire and the master mind behind them is the Devil, also not being ignorant of fallen angels the demons who are down the corridors of time, it reminds me that we do not wrestle against flesh & blood, Christ restores every abnormal sexual orientation to normal because He’s the creator of our bodies

  7. Hugh G Wetmore

    Afrika has again poured Christian wisdom into this debate, wisdom that ought to stand scrutiny in secular circles that are prejudiced against religious arguments. Here is a short article published 25.2.2014 …….


    Uganda’s President is reported to have said, on SAfm radio 21.2.2014, that he will seek scientific facts about homosexuality. That is wise: if it can be scientifically proven that this is a natural and genetic orientation which certain people are born with, then Gays can’t help being gay and should not be condemned or criminalised.

    This is not difficult to prove scientifically. Those who believe in evolutionary science must admit that any gay genes could not have been transmitted through gay sex down the generations, and so would have died out long ago. That’s what ‘survival of the fittest’ means in its evolutionary context. Dr Archibald Hart, President Emeritus of the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in California, agrees with this logic (1). Those who believe in creation science must admit that the Creator made two genders, male and female, to procreate and perpetuate the species. He didn’t create Adam and Steve.

    Physiological science notes that the vagina is eminently suited for the male organ because its epidermis (0.1-0.7mm) is many times thicker than that of the anus (0.001) (2). The anal surface is thinner and so more liable to tear with friction. This explains why the rate of HIV infection has been statistically higher among homosexuals than heterosexuals. Anal intercourse can cause bacterial prostatitis (3).

    If being gay is genetic, then it would be as unchangeable as one’s race. No-one has ever changed their race. But there are documented instances of people changing their orientation from homosexual to heterosexual, and vice versa. The Times of India reports that the Indian Psychiatric Society’s immediate past president, Dr Indira Sharma, recently described homosexuality as “unnatural”, and that homosexuals who are uncomfortable with their sexuality should seek psychiatric help. “There are some who are comfortable, but there are many who are not. The latter should realize they can get help (from psychiatrists). Some of them may even be able to change their orientation,” Sharma said (4).

    It is possible to subscribe to the SA Constitution’s Right not to discriminate against anyone because of their sexual orientation without approving of the practice of homosexuality. After all, our laws do not discriminate against the paedophile’s orientation, but only against the practice of paedophilia. Kleptomania is not a sin, but stealing is.

    We should not support Uganda’s decision to criminalise gays, just as we should not criminalise adultery or premarital sex. But neither should we ignore science, and criminalise those who urge gays to seek help in changing their orientation and lifestyle. Science cannot prove that homosexuality is genetic. Science does raise serious challenges to those who believe it is.

    (1) Personal letter to Hugh Wetmore in 2012

    (2) Google ‘Thickness of vaginal epidermis’ and ‘Thickness of anal epidermis’ for medical reports.



    This document is not copyright, so can be freely used without attribution

    • Thank you so much Hugh for adding valuable information to this debate. Indeed we should strive for the truth here and not just take an emotional position. If homosexuality was natural then the human body of a homosexual would have been prepared for sex between those who practice that lifestyle. For what you are saying the body is not designed for this and this means it is being abused. Surely this should go against what God has intended.

  8. Well said Observer!@Afrika – it may be true that Western organisations are recruiting children into homosexuality, but you can bet your bottom dollar that they are being aided and abetted by Ugandans. In the same way that the West plundered Africa for slaves with the help of Africans! Homosexuality has no boundaries, it is universal. While I understand that the law was put in place to protect Uganda’s children and indeed something should be done urgently to address this, criminalising homosexuality is not the solution in my opinion. Homosexuality is a sin in the same way, adultery, fornication, murder, rape, fraud, etc. etc. are sins.

    • Hi Vikki. I agree with you on two points. Firstly that the criminalization is not the solution but also inaction is not either. Secondly homosexuality is universal but that does not mean it is universally accepted. Countries have a sovereign right to determine what they are willing to accept or reject. Most of your compatriots clearly reject homosexuality and this is a reflection of their values. The issue is not so much the law but the values that gave rise to it.

  9. I’ve increasingly come to see the nature-nurture debate as something of a red herring and ultimately irrelevant. I’d recommend this article as probing some far more fundamental issues for Christians who want to argue for a traditionally Christian approach to sexual ethics.

  10. Margaret Ferguson

    Whilst biblically I believe that homosexuality is against the will of God there is a difference between that and legislating against it (with extremely harsh punishment). Culturally there is such a problem that we even see in South Africa that homosexuals lives are at risk from their fellow man. To kill someone for being a homosexual whatever the cultural thinking in Africa, is appalling and harsh laws sends the wrong message to the perpetrators of such extreme violence.It is a personal moral
    issue. I am from the West but my view about the matter is based on the bible which comes before
    culture so I find any argument
    about the West’s rationale re homosexuality only relevant in terms of being opposed to a gay law.The rest for me is largely irrelevant