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BBC World Debate programme asks ‘Is homosexuality un-African?’

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  1. Why are the bbc even dignifying that stupid question. The bbc is run by assholes

  2. Given that in certain parts of Africa, it was at one time, the general practice for males to greet each other by shaking penises I really don’t know.
    I suspect the anti homosexuality has been brought about by the arrival of the christian churches; plus the post empire hangover.
    Africa and Asia are now the breeding grounds of the christian faiths (Can’t speak for others). In the west they are losing or at best holding their ground.

  3. Helen Wilson 10 Mar 2011, 1:40pm

    Is anybody really surprised?

    The BBC is undoubtedly homophobic. Just because it employs some creative gay people will not change the message we see from its papist master.

    This is just a rewording of its cancelled do homosexuals deserve to live debate.

  4. An African person in Scott Mill’s documentary said it wasn’t
    the way of their tribe. I think things will change there
    but it will take time. Just like it took time here.

    1. time and public debate

  5. While the title of the show is probably not the best they could have chosen, the fact that homosexuality could not be an African value/thing is one of the main arguments used by African homophobes to justify their actions.

    It is, I think, therefore important to challenge such misconception (homophobia and homophobic laws were brought to African by the colonial and missionary powers while homoerotic practices were perfectly accepted by the indegenous people). I hope that the opponents of Bahati managed to do just that and that a few eyes will be opened as a result.

  6. Stuart Neyton 10 Mar 2011, 1:49pm

    to answer that i think we need to ask if african homosexuals exist. If you think the answer to that is no, then you’re an ignorant fool.

    I don’t own a tv so am happy to say i’m not financially contributing to this farce of a debate. The BBC has blood on its hands by inviting hate preachers to speak on the matter.

    1. I was thinking about getting rid of the danm oggle-box for good but then I can’t play GTA san andreas so ill just pluck out the chip that picks up the digital V channels. The BBC is a right wing Catholic controlled organization which does not represent LGBT community issues at all.

  7. The African regimes, notably but not exclusively dictators claim homosexuality is an imposition from ‘without’ by colonial/ western powers on African identity. This is justification for much of the persecution of gay men and lesbians.
    Anthropological research demonstrates both a wide diversity of sexual practices, and contradicts the ‘foreignness’ of homosexuality argument.
    The more searching question is why such regimes accept the idea of Africa, which is a colonial regime, could it be that it allows them to define and maintain their power base? Selective memory!

  8. The BBC are a bunch of homophobic w@nkers.

    I’ve not paid my TV license in 2 years. I’d encourage others to do the same.

  9. Saw an ad for this and was wondering when you’re gonna pick it up. I’m quite shocked Zeinab Badawi would wish to be associated with such a programme.

    Sadly, I don’t have the stomach for that Bahati creep so I definitely won’t be watching.

  10. Why won’t the BBC learn its lesson? It’s like asking ‘is having pigmented skin un-British?’

    A scientist would tell you that whatever it is that makles people gay is equally present in black poeple and white poeple. So the real question is not whether homosexuality is un-African, it is whether homophobia is inherently African (which it isn’t!)

    1. Quite right. I’d be far more interested in the BBC investigating the export of evangelical Christian homophobia and hate to countries like Uganda. Homosexuality is quite clearly African just as much as it’s European, Asian or anything else.

      Bahati’s vile views shouldn’t be given legitimacy in this way.

    2. Jock S. Trap 10 Mar 2011, 2:50pm

      Agreed. How the situation who would rightly totally unacceptable if the arguement had been place about “having pigmented skin” been un-British?’ Oh the outrage.

      So why is the LGBT an acceptable excuse to abuse?!

  11. The BBC are willing to give a platform to a genocidal lunatic like David Bahati?

    Shows what they think of us.

    I want to see a debate on the BBC which says ‘Should we let Uganda starve?’.

    That’s a debate they won’t have as it would be deemed racist.

    Homophobia is perfectly fine however.

  12. Jock S. Trap 10 Mar 2011, 2:39pm

    Here we go again. The BBC cannot stand up to its commitments and I fail to see why the UK public should have to pay for them.

    This is clearly being done to attract attention. If they wish to promote and uphold Christian convictions then let them be just another channel that people must choose to have and pay for. As a British organisation it should be upholding British Values. That includes the rights of the LGBT community.

    The question is un-necessary, it demeans, it separates human beings. The BBC should have a responsibilty toward basic human rights no matter where in the world it broadcasts.

    All this shows is that the BBC has no respect for the LGBT community. It wishes it to be and remain separate.

    Not good enough.

    1. Jock S. Trap 10 Mar 2011, 2:46pm

      Clearly the BBC is un-British. So why should we have to pay for it?!

  13. The BBC is not fit for purpose.

  14. am I the only one who see’s the hughmungus irony of this African retards name – Bahati pronounced Batty!

  15. Why don’t they debate “Are human rights un-African”?… even “Is Christianity un-African” would be a more worthwhile debate.

    I hope somebody on the panel can effectively counter the insane Bahati.

    1. Jock S. Trap 10 Mar 2011, 2:51pm

      Yes, a more accurate debate I think. Clearly the answer to both would be No.

      1. Jock S. Trap 10 Mar 2011, 2:52pm

        oops I did mean the answer would be Yes – – – Doh!

        Oh well the moments passed


  16. It’s so easy to accidentally write the opposite of what you actually mean, It’s a shame there is no way we can edit our own comments here.

  17. richie, liverpool 10 Mar 2011, 3:15pm

    The BBC comes out with this so soon after the execution debate, but sacked Carol Thatcher for her “golliwog” jibe?

    Unrelated, but related in a sense, was the fact that the Beeb allows Fairytale of New York to be played unedited on the radio with the word “faggot” in, after originally censoring the word out?! And when TATU where number 1 in 2003, they banned the video from Top of the Pops! They clearly pander to what they think their audience wants, but obviously couldn’t give a damn about offending gays!

    Don’t pay your licences!

  18. How absurd. We should all stop paying our t.v. licences as someone already said. The BBC most certainly is run by homophobes, token gay employees aside. Homosexuality is as old as heterosexuality, no country or culture is immune to it. No thanks to our former colonialism in that part of the world for bringing in homophobia in the first place with the collusion of the so called “christian” missionaries. What the BBC is doing is fanning the flames of homophobia by airing such a provocative issue.

  19. Excuse me, but why are we fuding and enabling this hateful cr@p? Oh yes, because the BBC is full of misogynistic, homophobic, decrepit old tossers….

  20. It is an important debate but as mentioned, a more relevant question would be is Christianity un-African which it historically and unquestionably is.

    African dictators have consistently used homophobia as a weapon against opponents whether they be gay or not. Claiming it is un-african while espousing christianity in the same breath.

  21. why does the BBC seem determined to see us killed. they keep validating homophobia and even the outright killing of gay people every opportunity they get.

    this is not a question you ask people.

    it’s the same as asking should the queen be roasted toasted fricasseed or fried. ‘t’s like asking what wine goes well with white babies.

    next they’ll ask us whether we prefer defenestration, stoning, hanging, or tortured half to death

    1. unbelievably silly – the BBC is hosting a discussion – you’ve raised it to mass murder
      grow up

  22. Homosexuality is very African!

  23. it looks very homophobic and the producer is deluded if he thinks this will help

  24. withdraw your licence payment !

    question – is the BBC un-human ?

  25. What a set of incredible comments. Try to understand it’s a debate with two sides. That means one side agrees and one side disagrees with the question. It does not mean the BBC agrees or disagrees. It gives the listner – viewer the chance to THINK!Do posters honestly believe one would have a forum to even hear about such topics in a commercial (Murdoch) controlled world.

    1. “Try to understand it’s a debate with two sides.”

      It is NOT a debate with 2 sides.

      Homosexuality exists in every society in the world and always has done. To ask the question ‘Is homosexuality unAfrican’ is therefore an absurd question. To pose this question is to give a platform to extremists to pretend that homosexuality is somehow not African. And if homosexuality is not African, then it gives validity to the genocidal murder of gay people.

      The equivalent of this debate would be a newspaper discussion in Germany in 1932 asking ‘Are jews, human?’

      It is a intrinsically absurd, murderous, genocidal question as it allows some maniac like Bahati to claim that we are not human.

      The BBC are hateful, bigotted scum,

      Do NOT pay your TV license to this vile organisation.

      1. the programme is a debate with two sides – all debates have two sides
        the 1932 equivilent would not be are Jews human? but are Jews German?
        I’m pleased that the organisation you call “bigotted scum” (pretty kind and liberal sentiment that) allows debate. Would you rather have an organisation that feeds you celeb pap?

        1. Wasn’t the earlier BBC debate – should homosexuals face execution? – more or less the equivalent of a German paper asking ‘should jews be gassed?’

          1. so lets not have any debate at all – because you will say any question will be compared to the holocaust. Debate it and win or lose the debate.

    2. Jock S. Trap 10 Mar 2011, 4:31pm

      hmmm a forum to discuss if I’m right or wrong. if I don’t belong, if I should be put to death. Cos we ain’t human beings right?

      Do they have Is being Black right? No
      Do they have Should Men be able to rape their wives? No
      Do they have Should disabled people really be seen in public? No?
      Do they have Are heterosexuals just wrong? No

      No, rightly those questions would be offensive and therefore unacceptable. So what is the difference. Is being Gay that much of an easy target? Are we that so second class citizens that they can just treat us, human beings, like animals in a zoo?

      Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Bi… it doesn’t matter it is how we are born. The only people that have the right to question each of our exsistence and choose a life is our parents when they decide to have us.

      We are not up for debate. My live should Nver be up for debate. It’s time this discrimination stopped, full stop.

      1. While I do love the BBC, I got to agree with Mr S. Trap here.
        Maybe everyone should complain to them?

        This really fecks me off, I spend days arguing with right wing friends about how the BBC is not a liberal left wing conspiracy, and even stories like this are not enough to convince them.

        1. ps – yes complain to the BBC – they will take it seriously. But please make a reasoned arguement against a discussion (not just one side of a discussion)

      2. a lot of what you say is right but sadly gay people have difficulties (massive understatement) in Africa. Sensible debate is a way forward – the programme is to discuss attitutes in Africa which clearly exist. In my view they are abhorrent attitudes. I repeat do you really believe a commercial press would get near such topics?

        1. There is a debate, yes, but arguably by giving both sides a platform in this way it sends out the message that the ‘other side’ of the debate is just as valid an opinion as our view when in fact it is just wrong – the homophobic views are more “un-African” than homosexuality. By giving homophobic views an equal platform we give them legitimacy which is the last thing we want.

          1. don’t give those abhorrent views a platform in debate and you get to where we are at the moment in Africa. We in Europe are lucky that people have learned (through debate and openess) that we gay folk are pretty ok usually.

  26. where is SamB, defender of christianity to defend oppressed christians in africa, oh yea she busy slaging off muslims

  27. westcoastkid 10 Mar 2011, 4:20pm

    It’s quite plain to me that this is an effort by the bbc to shore up viewership and ratings in african countries by running crap like this for the (eager) eyes of homophobic africans.

  28. I agree with the BBC having a debate about homosexuality in Africa.
    But the way the question has been asked and the people they have got to speak show that this is about cheap ratings rather than intellectual development.

  29. Just posing a question in that way is harmful because the principle of equality, which should be axiomatic and which the BBC claims to support, are here thrown open to debate.

    Had the BBC instead asked whether homophobia is un-African, that question would not be offensive. Pity the BBC didn’t pose it in that way. Nevertheless they were wrong to invite David Bahati as a panellist.

    1. Staircase2 10 Mar 2011, 5:56pm

      agreed – and that would have been a FAR more interesting debate too

  30. Staircase2 10 Mar 2011, 5:55pm

    I am shocked that the BBC couldnt have come up with a better conversation catalyst than “Is Homosexuality Un-African?”

    I understand the need to allow the bigots enough room to show themselves up but its a crapily worded Debate Question.

    After all – there are plenty of things which Africa (bearing in mind there is no ‘Africa’ in the same way that there is no ‘Europe’) uses on a daily basis: drug therapies, electricity, electric guitars, radio, TV – all of these things are arguably ‘un-African’ too.

    so its a non starter to pander to the ignorant views of the reactionary bigots there just to get them into conversation.

    I think the BBC should be ashamed of itself – its better than this.

  31. Dan Filson 10 Mar 2011, 6:00pm

    Contrary to many I think this is a debate that needs to be had – first a discussion on whether anything can be un-African, a phrase as daft as Unamerican was 60 years ago, and secondly to try to restore there being a debate, any debate, on homosexuality in Africa and wrench it away from the churches.

    It only falls on the licence fee because the Government took away the FCO funding for the World Service. People should not carp at what this broadcaster does and in the very next breath attack Murdoch for interfering with editorial freedom.

  32. Helen Wilson 10 Mar 2011, 6:51pm

    Would the BBC have a debate on: Is being African unhuman?

    I hope not! so why are they doing it for another human characteristic?

    1. what about if they debatred ….do better dancers come from Africa – another human characteristic?

      yes its silly – but maybe getting on a high horse about a debate….without even hearing the views…is silly. lol

  33. I am ambivalent on this issue. On the one hand, were this for a UK audience, I would have no doubt about branding it as unquestionably beyond the pale. But since it is most emphatically not for a UK audience, I wonder whether pitching it like this might not be a better strategy.

    It seems to me that the people who most need to start thinking seriously about this are the very homophobic people in places like Uganda. If the BBC put on a debate framed along the lines it would be in the UK, I doubt many of those people would even bother to listen. By framing it as a direct challenge to the fundamental premise of the campaigners for bigotry – asking whether the central plank of their argument is actually true – they might make some headway however.

    From an idealistic point of view, I would like to see the BBC take a high-handed, zero-tolerance stance on homophobic attitudes worldwide. But I fear that, in pragmatic terms, this might cause more harm than good.

  34. paul canning 10 Mar 2011, 7:43pm

    This debate has already happened, here’s a report about it

    1. Paul… the link doesn’t work

  35. theotherone 10 Mar 2011, 7:48pm

    You know what shocks me? The BBC is putting itself forward as a So Left It Hurts broadcaster that wants to stand up for the oppressed ect, ect but thinks this sugar is acceptable?


    1. Jock S. Trap 11 Mar 2011, 9:10am

      Agree with you theotherone!

  36. The furore – the vitriol. The comments are spitting acid. What if it were a different question, like ‘Are Gingers Smelly’. Or ‘Do Romans Stink’, ‘Is The Women Vote Going To End The Empire’ or ‘Should The Wogs Get A Change To Immigrate’.

    All make no sense as a debate now. Try one as your opener in a pub conversation, and see how far you get.

    This is nonsense, and shouldn’t be promoted by the BBC. Stop this filth now!

  37. Christopher 10 Mar 2011, 9:09pm

    There was the same debate in 2006 which is also on the BBC webpage. The usual dumbass statements are there, my usual replies are as follows

    Homosexuality is unnatural! Yeah, like walking on two legs – you f++king primate.

    God didn’t create Adam and Steve he created Adam and Eve! No you f++kwit, there was no Adam and Eve and there’s no God. Go make like an amoeba and f++k yourself!

  38. It’s christianity that is “unAfrican”. It was a colonial import used to poison the minds of the oppressed indigenous population. Bhati should rather promote a law that bans colonial religion in Africa!

  39. I could be wrong but it is my understanding that the African traditions everybody is alluding to only go back to the Victorian era when Europeans took over much of Africa. Real history of Africa paints a different picture about what is tradition.

  40. The BBC will never learn, they obviously have no intention of learning. It’ll get a lot worse when Cameron puts Chris Patten in control of this disgrace of a propaganda machine.

    Where do they dig these dinosaurs up? Surely most of them should be serving life in Spandau Prison.

    1. Jock S. Trap 11 Mar 2011, 9:19am

      True – Life through the..

      Oh sorry wrong Spandau

  41. Sickening.

    I am amazed they didn’t fly Stephen Green over as a panellist. Oh talking of which, did you all know about his blog? In this vale of tears you ma as well treat yourselves to a laugh and a dose of Schadenfreude. Tell him what you think of him here –

    1. His martyrdom is touching. Maybe he should find himself a large wooden cross and a couple of nails.

      I suspect most of us would happily help him knock them in.

  42. Better to have asked the question:
    “Are Africans backward, ignorant, bigoted homophobes?”

  43. Oh, and all those people encouraging others to break the law by not paying your licence fee, don’t complain when you get locked up.

  44. As a blond blue eye man who worked in Kenya and travelled about half of Africa, there are gay African men in each country and some are more open than others about it as everywhere on the planet, Some are bi-sexual. It’s a step in the right direction for BBC to address the issue and she did her best. I saw most of it. The word Love was not mentioned, too bad because that’s where we meet on common ground and can really express our feelings, not just identity issues and rhetoric that defines this way or that. Of course the Unafrican shows is silly approach. I knew when i was about six or seven that I was gay, and if I did not know, the other kids told me I was.

  45. It’s like asking- is personal/human freedom unafrican.? For gay rights read human rights. Unless you have no objections to the government or religious groupings telling you what you can or can’t do with your bits and pieces or who you can or can’t love.

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