Homophobic African Bishops have "Colonialist" Mentality
But black liberation heroes support gay human rights.
Archbishop Akinola has internalised western homophobia.
Meeting of Anglican Primates in London dominated by anti-gay agenda.
"African bishops who decry homosexuality have a colonialist mentality. They have internalised the western homophobia imposed on the African people during the period of British Empire".
The accusation comes from gay human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell.
Mr Tatchell also accuses the bishops of "denying their own culture and history".
"Same-sex relationships existed in Africa long before the arrival of white settlers".
Mr Tatchell's comments come a week before Anglican primates meet in London to discuss the church's schism over gay human rights issues.
Some African Archbishops are demanding a hardline homophobic stance, rejecting the appointment of gay clergy and opposing legal equality for lesbians and gay men.
Commenting on the anti-gay attitudes of some African Archbishops attending the Primate's meeting in London, Mr Tatchell said:
"The acceptance of homosexuality in many African societies horrified the Christian colonisers. They claimed it was evidence that black people were'sub-human savages'. Homosexuality among Africans became a rationalisation for racist notions of white superiority and the'civilising mission' of the western conquerors", added Tatchell.
"It is ironic that Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria now espouses a homophobic agenda similar to the one forced on African people by European colonisers and their missionary accomplices.
"The Nigerian government enforces savage anti-homosexual laws inherited from the era of British colonial rule, imposing a maximum sentence of 14 years jail for consenting gay sex. Archbishop Akinola endorses these draconian legal penalties.
"Most other former British colonies in Africa also retain their colonial era anti-gay legislation.
"Not all African religious and political leaders are homophobic. Some of the greatest allies of the gay human rights movement have been black liberation heroes, such as Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Thabo Mbeki.
"In 1987, as an activist in the anti-apartheid movement, I publicly challenged the then homophobic attitudes of the ANC. The result was an abrupt policy u-turn. The ANC apologised and declared its support for gay and lesbian human rights.
"President Thabo Mbeki, who was at the time the ANC's Director of Information, wrote to me personally in October 1987, pledging the ANC's new commitment to challenge homophobic discrimination.
"The black-led ANC government ensured that South Africa became the first country in the world with a constitution outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation.
"Some African leaders are using gay people as a scapegoat, just like Hitler scapegoated the Jews.
"Robert Mugabe is not the only African leader to condemn gays and lesbians. Kenya's Daniel Arap Moi, Zambia's Frederick Chiluba, Uganda's Yoweri Museveni and Namibia's Sam Nujuma have been equally homophobic", said Peter Tatchell.
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