Colonialism as an excuse for Homophobia? India’s Health Minister calls being Gay a Western “Disease”

Mumbai Gay Rights Parade - Photograph: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

We hear this over and over and over again from our gay friends in and from countries and regions that were once under colonial occupation. Homosexuality is cast as a disease brought in by European conquerers, foisted upon an unsuspecting population that had never know of such evils before. Sort of like smallpox-infected blankets.

As a Ugandan pal (not named here – for his protection) pointed out, in the case of sub-Saharan Africa, this nefarious discourse has the effect of making being gay not only a crime, not only a sin, but worse, a sort of Pan-African treason, a wholesale capitulation to the white man and his evil ways. In Uganda, the Anglican Church (which IS a Western import!) is the main vehicle for this evil propaganda.

This thinking is in full effect in India, too. Ghulam Nabi Azad, India’s minister of Health, addressed a conference on HIV/AIDS in New Delhi on Monday, saying: “Unfortunately this disease has come to our country too … where a man has sex with another man, which is completely unnatural and should not happen but does.” For the article published by The Guardian UK, click here.

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