Sunday, 15 March 2009

World news that makes me despair.

Every so often (quite frequently actually) an item in the world news hits me like a blow to the stomach - and the pain lingers there. This week I've experienced a double-whammy.
In Nigeria the unfolding saga of the attempt, which will almost certainly succeed, to make gay marriage illegal makes me want to give up all hope in humanity. A 'marriage' will be defined as two gays living together whether or not they've undergone a ceremony. This on top of the fact that gay sex in any circumstances is already a criminal offence, but the new measure will allow the police and authorities to take further action where there is even just suspicion of a relationship. To see children wearing T-shirts bearing the slogans "Gay Marriage is Unnatural / Un-African / an abomination" makes me just want to weep! I've unbounded admiration and respect, but also great fear, for those few very brave Nigerian activists in their own country who are speaking out against the proposal. It comes as no surprise that the Catholic Church vociferously supports the measure.
And then a couple of days ago on one of our news channels here in the UK (Channel 4) a report came from Cape Town, already 'honoured' with the title of the 'Rape Capital of the World', where now any woman known or just thought to be Lesbian is targetted for rape, often gang-rape, as a 'corrective' measure. A man was interviewed who thought it was justifiable to 'remind' these women of the bodies 'God' had given them. I've been seething inside ever since I saw the report and I only hope rationality and reason will dawn on these people before anyone else is hurt. But I somehow doubt it.
But on a more pleasing final note, I only read this morning of the breaking off of the engagement of Sarah Palin's unmarried daughter/mother. Of course it's not the latter's situation that one takes any schadenfreude from (that would be perverse!) but what a calamity for the 'traditional values' family matriarch! Oh, what an embarrassment! - my heart positively bleeds for her. But could this be the instrument for a Damascene conversion? I'm not holding my breath.

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