President Obama is currently on a long tour of various parts of our planet; most recently, he has been crisscrossing Africa. He recently made a stop in Senegal where he was trumpeting the recent Supreme Court decisions that will effectively lead to some kind of federal recognition of gay marriage.
At a speaking engagement he shared with Senegal’s President, Macky Sall, he chose to encourage all African nations to get with the times and begin allowing every member of society no matter their sexual preference the same “rights” – in this case the presumption being the “right to marry.”
“So my basic view is that regardless of race, regardless of religion, regardless of gender, regardless of sexual orientation, when it comes to how the law treats you, how the state treats you — the benefits, the rights and the responsibilities under the law — people should be treated equally. And that’s a principle that I think applies universally, and the good news is it’s an easy principle to remember. “
It’s as though the President has forgotten that he was against gay marriage just over a year ago. He has very quickly accustomed himself to this passionate new stance on the equality of homosexual couples, and apparently appointed himself to espouse the gospel of humanism.
Senegal’s President Sall was quick to respond to the President that he agreed we must respect all people and that discrimination is never ok, but then he went on to focus on what he see as the root of the issue:
“But you said something very important — general principles which all nations could share, and that is the respect for the human being and non-discrimination. But these issues are all societal issues basically, and we cannot have a standard model which is applicable to all nations, all countries… Senegal, as far as it is concerned, is a very tolerant country, which does not discriminate in terms of inalienable rights of the human being. We don’t tell anybody that he will not be recruited because he is gay or he will not access a job because his sexual orientation is different. But we are still not ready to decriminalize homosexuality… But of course this does not mean that we are all homophobic. “
Presidnet Sall then made President Obama’s sanctimony look ridiculous as he compared the homosexual issue in Senegal to the death penalty in the US.
“It is just like the capital punishment. In our country, we have abolished it for many years. In other countries, it is still the order of the day, because the situation in the country requires it. And we do respect the choice of each country.”
Sall strikes right at the heart of the matter when he argues that many of these issues that we debate are “social issues”. What seems right in one society, in one culture, may not seem so in another. In the United States the majority of us once viewed homosexual marriage as something that would never be socially acceptable because of our religious values. But now many in our country have moved away from those values, and societally our morality has shifted. President Sall argues that to the Senegalese people, the death penalty is immoral, so they outlawed it long ago. In contrast to President Obama believing that the nations of Africa should bow to his morality (or lack thereof) and allow gay marriage, President Sall offers that while Senegal believes the USA should outlaw capital punishment, they would never presume to lecture us about it.
Perhaps President Obama should learn to pick bigger battles of ideology – instead of calling out Senegal for its views of gay marriage, how about calling out the Sudan, China, Egypt, or Iran for their heinous treatment of Christians?
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