Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Homosexuality Should Not Be An Excuse to Demean People; The Human Rights Based Approaches on a day-to-day basis

Let us imagine ten scenarios:
1. As a human being one is part of the larger human community. One deserves dignity, understanding, encouragement to engage in personal and community well-being. 
2. Scripture has examples of boldness and initiative toward unconditional positive regard for people who are different. In reaching out, we are making dignity apparent, make it inclusive and not a privilege.
3. Imagine your religious leaders touching your private parts while expressing incantations and adopting a prayerful pose and claiming to chase out what they have termed as "an evil" in you! 
4. Imagine you are about to get into a building and outside the rain is falling as if it is chased out of the skies, only to be told that you cannot be allowed in because you did not call ahead to inform the owner of the building. Meanwhile, one, two, three people enter and are welcome with warm smiles. 
5. Imagine you are served food and water but after one minute before you take a bite or sip, they are taken away and you are told they made a mistake you were supposed to be served when all the rest have had their food and water.
6. Imagine you are a student and you have the capacity to score so well but you continue to be left out of the social clubs or enrolling in different aspects of school life. 
7. Imagine a possibility when you are allowed to participate or contribute to an activity in your community. There is joy and there is a feeling of being acknowledged.
8. Imagine when your race, religion, orientation, status and background are not barriers to your being identified for a job, vacancy or any other aspect of life.
9. Imagine you have been evicted from your house and have been disowned by your parents just because you are non-heterosexual conforming.
10. Imagine you have been ostracized by your religious leaders and being a spiritual person you look for other means to lead a pious and practical spiritual life because it is part of you.

The above 10 scenarios are only part of 100's of ways a human being can experience indignity. These are examples from our counselling sessions. They occurred to persons who are not Heterosexual Conforming. So much suffering  has arisen as a result of not understanding that in our ill-treatment of those who are not like us, we are being unkind and unjust. Much as we must continue adopting a just consciousness, we must also be aware of our unkind and unjust streak. When one is able to to discern both sides of justice, then one is said to be adopting or marinating or applying a human rights approach to whatever they do.
A friend of mine has what is known as a scale. In fact an ABCDE scale. He calls it the Access to life improving goods or services, Building community, Creating empowering spaces, Destroying Denial of Rights and Enjoyment of Liberty and Happiness. If anything does not promote access, doesn't build, is against creating spaces for all, actually denies or delays execution of rights and suppresses happiness then.....it is an abuse of dignity and rights of people.
The Human Rights Based Approach is supposed to address all these areas and make a balance where those deprived and denied are provided opportunities to enjoy life too. Homosexuality should not be an excuse to demean people. This is the first application of the  Human Rights Based approaches on a day-to-day basis.




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