Wednesday, 23 February 2011

In Botswana, "turmoil over the issue of homosexuality"

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Source: African Activist

Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) are speaking out about MP Pono Moatlhodi's remarks that "if he had power, he would have those who practise homosexuality killed." Moatlhodi is the Deputy Speaker of the Botswana National Assembly.

LEGABIBO spokesperson Caine Youngman believes that if Moatlhodi wants to be a leader, he needs to start acting like one. Behind the Mask reports:
Annoyed by the comments, a member of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO) Caine Youngman said, “Moatlhodi is a leader and he needs start acting like one. What makes him think he is more Motswana than me, what defines a Motswana? I went through a lot to let anyone treat me or insinuate that I am a second class citizen now.”

He added, “Moatlhodi should remember that he is sitting in parliament because the people of Botswana, including gays and lesbians voted for him and that he gets paid because gays and lesbians of Botswana also pay their taxes.

In an effort to bust the myths that gay people learnt the sexual orientation from the West and that they were often victims of molestation, Youngman clarified, “I never resided in the West nor have I ever attended any school to be taught how to be Gay.  I was never molested nor do I tolerate molesting so why am I being called a western dog, a pervert, wrong and evil.”
A concerned mother wrote the Botswana Gazette angry that Rev. Butale and MP Moatlhodi had "incited confusion and unrest in our society with their misguided opinions."

For weeks now our country has been in turmoil over the issue of homosexuality. Rev. Butale and MP Pono Moatlhodi have incited confusion and unrest in our society with their misguided opinions. In The Voice Newspaper of 12 November 2010, our very own President said to the nation that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality.

Our President seems to understand that homosexuality in our country is not the problem. Let it be known that homosexuals are people in our society who are attracted to people of the same sex. I appeal to the public to not let itself be derailed from important issues in our society. Our leaders are unable to provide solutions to the problems we face in our society and so they decided to pin it on homosexuality.

Homosexuals are not the cause of fatherless children, or lack of maintenance for those children, or poverty, or the fact that children are getting out of hand and abuse alcohol and drugs. Homosexuals are not the reason why there are extra judicial killings and corruption in government or lack of sponsorship for tertiary students.

Do not blame homosexuals for the fact that heterosexuals have a high divorce rate. Does it make any sense to say that homosexuality is the reason why there is global warming? One would ask how a woman’s attraction to another woman affects the weather or causes inflation.

Batswana, be careful not to be swept away by the wind of ignorant opinions. We Batswana will not be pushed to killing our daughters and sons just because they are gay, as was published in The Gazette of 8 February 2011. We will not be reduced to being savages who stigmatize and kill their own just because they are different. As a mother, I will not condone the shaming and discrimination of any one of my children if they turned out to be gay.

I urge all Batswana, parents and friends to not lose touch with what is important. What is important is the safety of our children whether they are gay or heterosexual.

What is important is for us to hold our political leaders to account for all the things they promised us when we voted for them. MP Pono Moatlhodi, when we voted for you, we never asked you to spread hate about homosexuals.

We asked you to build us better roads, better schools, better clinics and ensure the safety of our children. That is what we need.  Rev. Butale, what you are preaching is ungodly. God is love, tolerance and peace. Do not confuse yourself with God. Only God is the ultimate judge. Homosexuality is not the problem.

Concerned Mother,

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