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Stand Up for Gay Rights in Nigeria: Oppose the Anti-Gay Marriage Law


Leo Igwe

Bob Marley in one of his famous songs urged the people of his country to stand up for their rights. He appealed to them not to give up the fight to exercise and enjoy basic human freedoms . At this critical time in the history of human rights in Nigeria, I am sending the Bob Marley message to human rights campaigners in the country and beyond. Let us all stand up for the rights of gay people in the country. Let’s not give up the fight against the anti gay marriage law and other expressions and manifestations of gay hatred and intolerance. Let us not give up the fight against state or religion sanctioned homophobia.

gay_weddingHomophobic politicians in Nigeria have since 2006 been scheming to tighten laws against homosexuality in the country. They sponsored anti same sex marriage bills, incited Nigerians against sexual minorities and politicized homosexual issues. Unfortunately, they have achieved their infamous goal under President Goodluck Jonathan. Homophobic politicians and theocrats have pressured and cornered him into signing the vicious and draconian anti gay marriage bill into law. The Presidential Spokesperson, Reuben Abati made it clear that the process was not informed by human rights, equality and justice but by religious and cultural beliefs of Nigeria.

By signing the anti gay marriage bill into law, President Jonathan has demonstrated contempt for human rights protection of gay people in Nigeria. Jonathan ignored the appeals from the international community including the United Nations and the European Union urging him not to make gay people criminals because of who they are or who they love. President Jonathan literally ignored one of those cannons of a democracy- which is the protection of minorities. He has shown the world that when it comes to law making in Nigeria, religion and culture trump human rights.

More importantly, the Nigerian president has failed in his responsibility to protect gay people in Nigeria from hate crimes-torture, intimidation, and attacks. He has legalized discrimination against gays and legitimized their persecution and abuse.

At this crucial moment, all human rights campaigners should heed those timeless words of Bob Marley and stand up for gay rights in Nigeria. We should continue to fiercely oppose the unjust legislation against gay marriage. We should not give up the fight against homophobia in Nigeria. We should not give up campaigning and letting Nigerian government understand that gay people are human beings and gay rights are human rights.

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5 Comments for “Stand Up for Gay Rights in Nigeria: Oppose the Anti-Gay Marriage Law”

  1. Homosexual conduct is not such that deserve to be recognized as a genus of human rights as it is unnatural, disgusting and adds nothing positive to humanity. It is beyond contestation that the anus is not designed for sex but for passing out solid waste from the body. Homosexual conduct is sickeningly disgusting!

    • You seem to imply that all homosexuals practise anal intercourse. They most certainly do not and, in any case, many heterosexuals practise it. Being homosexual is how you feel emotionally and physically towards your own sex, irrespective of whether you are male or female. Physical acts are only part of it and, again, like many heterosexuals, not all homosexuals do anything physical with one another, even though they may be in love with one another. But the practising of any kind of physical act between consenting adults of any sex or sexual orientation should not be against any law in any country. Such acts in private do nothing to harm anyone.

  2. This is not to support or hate homosexuality, but are you aware of the fact that anal intercourse is performed by both straight and gay people alike? This is only to inform you and not to debate homosexuality.

  3. Gay is bad for Nigeria don’t let us bring things that will further compound our country which is already bedeviled with corruption and bad leadership….let’s deal with that and the western world that have nothing else to deal with should add that to their few problems….homosexuality is morally disgusting

  4. Dr. John Onyekoro

    It puzzles me distressingly and leaves me with cold shivers when I begin to think about the origin of homosexuality in the context of our march towards civilization. Right from before recorded history, through the stone age, medieval age, unto the onset of the modern age, homosexuality has been a taboo. Christianity and Islam abhor it. Our traditional religions loathe it, Recently, for lack f excitement, and in search of what else to conquer, the west adopted it. Unfortunately, some folks here who crave attention have embraced it as a means of carving an obtuse identity. Where is God in all these??? His standard for our daily living has never changed, and will never change. Generations come and go, as with civilizations. God never changes. Let the West channel their frustrated personal lives elsewhere. God cannot be mocked.

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