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[afro-nets] The Same Sex Bill passed by Nigerian Senate (19)
- From: "Paula Tavrow" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 12:23:38 -0800 (PST)
I have been following this conversation about Nigeria's same-sex bill with sadness, because it shows how much homophobia we health professionals and academics still possess.
The best scientific evidence suggests that homosexuality is genetic with about 2-5% of human beings and animals preferring same sex relationships. For those who believe in God, clearly they are also God's children and have a reason to be here.
If we condemn same-sex relationships, we cannot provide good healthcare and services to a certain segment of our population. We deny them their humanity. We fail to see beyond their sexual orientation and judge them for something they were born with. It is like condemning people who are born with a different color of skin, or a birth defect, or an unusual eye color. If we can instead respect and appreciate everyone for their essential humanity, the world would be a different place.
I urge us not to welcome these developments in Nigeria, but rather to ask ourselves: Do I know of anyone who is gay (homosexual)--including colleagues, celebrities, sports stars, artists, musicians, etc.? What if my sibling, child or grandchild told me they were gay? How would I feel if they were imprisoned for their orientation? How could this possibly improve the life of the citizenry of our countries?
As health professionals and academics, I urge us to look into our hearts and make a decision not to discriminate (verbally or through our actions) against anyone.
Peace to all during this holiday season.
Paula Tavrow, PhD
Director, Bixby Program in Population and Reproductive Health
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), USA