What an amazing week for equality- on three continents, and a step backwards
After the depressing news a couple of weeks ago that Kenya’s highest court has ruled that its laws making homosexual sex illegal were valid, there have been three amazing steps forward this week:
- Botswana’s highest court decided that criminalising homosexual sex was discriminatory, unconstitutional and against the public interest. “A democratic society is one that embraces tolerance, diversity and open-mindedness,” Justice Michael Leburu said, noting that discriminatory law not only serves as a detriment to LGBTQ people, but holds back all of society.”Societal inclusion is central to ending poverty and fostering shared prosperity,” he said.
- Ecuador’s highest court has ruled that same sex marriage there should be allowed, the 27th country to do so.
- Bhutan’s lower chamber of Parliament has passed a bill to decriminalise homosexual acts there. It has yet to pass the upper chamber.
Balanced against these outcomes is the Vatican’s call that people are only male or female. The call “Male or female- He created them” does not recognise intersex or transgender people:
“The process of identifying sexual identity is made more difficult by the fictitious construct known as “gender neuter” or “third gender”, which has the effect of obscuring the fact that a person’s sex is a structural determinant of male or female identity. Efforts to go beyond the constitutive male-female sexual difference, such as the ideas of “intersex” or “transgender”, lead to a masculinity or feminity that is ambiguous, even though (in a self-contradictory way), these concepts themselves ac–tually presuppose the very sexual difference that they propose to negate or supersede. This oscillation between male and female becomes, at the end of the day, only a ‘provocative’ display against so-called ‘traditional frameworks’, and one which, in fact, ignores the suffering of those who have to live situations of sexual indeterminacy. Similar theories aim to annihilate the concept of ‘nature’, (that is, everything we have been given as a pre-existing foundation of our being and action in the world), while at the same time implicitly reaffirming its existence.“
And for anyone who cannot achieve naturally, the Vatican says:
“The physiological complementarity of male-female sexual difference assures the necessary conditions for procreation. In contrast, only recourse to reproductive technology can allow one of the partners in a relationship of two persons of the same sex to generate offspring, using ‘in vitro’ fertilization and a surrogate mother. However, the use of such technology is not a replacement for natural conception, since it involves the manipulation of human embryos, the fragmentation of parenthood, the instrumentalization and/or commercialization of the human body as well as the reduction of a baby to an object in the hands of science and technology.”
Or to put it another way, if you cannot conceive naturally, too bad, so sad.
What an outrageous concept.