Homosexuality is the new Apartheid: Silence is a global consensus

South Africa
Posted February 19, 2010 from South Africa

Thank you for the opportunity to speak.

I think Desmond Tutu, puts forward some compelling thoughts around homosexuality which without doubt refocuses the conversation away from homosexuality as being a series of sexual acts, perversions and moralistic distortions, but more towards the reality of it as the very being of an individual - a human right.

My favourite quote from Tutu is "If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn't worship that God." My second favourite is he stated at the launching of the book 'Sex, Love and Homophobia' that homophobia is a 'crime against humanity' and 'every bit as unjust' as apartheid. He added that "we struggled against apartheid in South Africa, supported by people the world over, because black people were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about; our very skins...It is the same with sexual orientation. It is a given."

If this debate is going to go anywhere it needs to be elevated to the status at which it is experienced by people. The basis of the human rights declaration is that contempt for our rights should not result in barbarous acts which outrage the conscience of mankind. There is far too much evidence of such acts already, so why actively allow more to be perpetrated under rule of law? How are we to evolve and progress society, if fear and obstruction is allowed commonplace. If homosexuality is the new apartheid - the absolute degradation of a part of society, the clear and conspicuous ostracizing of people based on sexual orientation. Its almost absurd to imagine this could be common place, yet it is. Even across America, a democratic society, voters have the right to oust minorities from access to legislation and basic rights under the law i.e. to be legally married, to live a life together to in mere fact - just get on with it.

The crime of apartheid is defined by the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as "inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity "committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.

The crime of oppressing homosexuality should be redefined as 'inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity committed in the context of systematic oppression and domination by heterosexuals (groups of a different sexual orientation) over another group of different sexual orientation and committed with the intention of maintaining that orientation.

Oppressing homosexuality clearly conflicts with deeper issues of human rights. It speaks to a lack of social validation, creates opportunities for vigilantes and openly disregards individual choices. What should be next?

LGBT Rights

Comments 2

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  • Maria Howe
    Feb 21, 2010
    Feb 21, 2010

    Thank you for sharing the words of Desmond Tutu. I can see the apartheid correlation. If more people could see that and take their understanding of that oppression having been wrong then their eyes would be opened to the blatant oppression LGBT individuals experience all over the world. Basic human rights are deserved by all, including respect and honor. I hope that one day we can see each other as equals.

    Regards, Maria

  • Jade Frank
    Feb 21, 2010
    Feb 21, 2010

    Hi Gisela,

    Thank you for speaking out in this Action Blogging Campaign, for sharing the words of the great Desmond Tutu as well as adding your own insight on this issue. And as Maria voiced, the apartheid correlation is powerful and demonstrates that society tries to oppress minorities of all circumstances, whether it be gender, race, religion or sexual orientation - but what we can learn from South Africans is that through determination of a people to demand their human rights and recognition as equals, we can begin to move past these prejudices and work towards justice. I just hope it's sooner than later for the LGBT community.

    It's great to have you here in our community Gisela! You have a strong, clear voice and a beautiful writing style. I hope to hear more from you in our community.

    Warm regards, Jade