On Monday march 15th, Vatican Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) stated that it could not bless same-sex marriage because the church does not permit gay or lesbian marriage.
According to Reuters, Pope Francis Francis has approved CDF statement citing that the decision was “not intended to be a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite of the sacrament of marriage and the blessing associated to it”
In a statement, the CDF explained that the Catholic Church could confer blessing “to individuals with homosexual inclination who manifest the will to live in fidelity to the revealed plans of God as proposed by Church teaching”
This ruling is more welcome among Catholics in Africa and Asia than those in western Europe and the United States. In Africa, the view of homosexuality is not exclusively based on religious doctrine but fundamentally on cultural values and African way of life. Most African cultures do not condone any hate or harm against individuals with unconventional sexual lifestyle (gay, incest etc). In a tribal setting, individuals with non-conformity lifestyle would be given peaceful traditional counseling by the elders .
In many West African countries, LGBTQIA suicide cases is very mild compared to western countries with normalized same-sex culture. A report by The Trevor Project revealed that LGBTQ youths in the US are 4 to 6 times more likely to result in injury, poising, or overdose compared to straight individuals. Even though most African countries have laws and cultural values that discourage same-sex practice, the society itself has its own way of dealing with the issue amicably.
The low suicide rate in countries like Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea etc can be related to the culture of tolerance and communal lifestyle that promotes sense of belonging to a community – tribe, family, religious groups etc . These groups would often help members struggling with emotional or psychological issues to find their balance.