In a recent article, C.O. Akpan argues that it is “unnatural for a man to sleep with a man as with a woman, and the idea of marriage in this sense is an abomination” (“The morality of same-sex marriage: How not to globalize a cultural anomie,” Online Journal of Health Ethics, 13(1), 2017, p. 9). Arguments in favor of same sex marriage, he claims, are “driven and motivated by the human right fad” (p. 9) that is inappropriate for African countries.
We argue that the specific arguments Akpan employs against the morality of homosexuality and same-sex marriage are flawed. Our paper also presents evidence that human rights are not simply a fad, nor are they of concern and appropriate only to the West. Finally, we examine the case in South Africa, the only African nation to include LGBTQ+ rights in its constitution. In particular, we show that by doing so, South Africa has increased the health and safety not only the LGBTQ+ community, but of the nation’s citizens at large.