Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Nigeria’s Virulent Anti-Gay Proposal

Nigeria is preparing to pass the most draconian anti-gay laws this side of Iran.

The bill started out as a ban on same-sex marriage and has been revised to make it a crime for more than two gay people to be in the same venue at the same time.

It prohibits LGBT social or civil rights groups from forming. It would be illegal to sell or rent property to same-sex couples, watch a gay film or video, visit an LGBT web site, or express same-sex love in a letter to one’s partner.

The legislation goes so far as to make it a criminal offense to impart information of HIV/AIDS to gays or for non-gays to meet with any group of gays for any purpose.


The penalty for those offenses would be 5 years in prison with hard labor. But that’s not all:

Gay sex already is illegal in Nigeria with sentences up to 14 years behind bars. In the mostly Islamic north homosexuality can be punishable by death.

Last year it became a crime for same-sex Nigerian couples to travel abroad to marry.

And here’s the kicker:

The new bill has the support of Nigeria’s Anglican Church, and its leader Archbishop Peter Akinola who has been at the forefront of opposing gay clergy in the denomination. Conservative Anglican churches in the US have aligned themselves with Akinola.

And this is the same Nigeria, and the same Archbishop Akinola, that is being held up by the religious right as a model for America on how to handle gays.

Comments

  1. #1 CPT_Doom
    January 20, 2007

    I realize it is always dicey for one’s credibility to bring up the Nazi era in the blogosphere, but in this instance, I think the parallels to the German purity laws here are both striking and profoundly disturbing – not to mention the near total silence from the allegedly advanced countries.

  2. #2 Stogoe
    January 20, 2007

    I would venture to guess that’s because powerful groups within our country not-so-secretly support everything they stand for.

    Just like then.

  3. #3 Farb
    January 20, 2007

    It is a sad commentary on today’s Anglican church that the visible symbol of African Anglicanism in the 80s and 90s was Desmond Tutu, and now it’s Peter Akinola.

  4. #4 David C. Brayton
    January 20, 2007

    CPT Doom–You hit it right on the head; this is Nazism through-and-through.

    There is so much sadness and despair in Africa–Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Congo, Sudan, Rwanda, Zimbabwe–that the problems of the Middle East seem tractable in comparison.

    And don’t forget the spectre of AIDS that will decimate the continent in the next 30 years. It is so incredibly sad.

  5. #5 DuWayne
    January 20, 2007

    CPT Doom -
    I think the comparison is a damned good one here. While making such comparisons can be detrimental to ones credability, they are not always wrong.

    Farb -
    Your not kidding. What’s truly disgusting is that the same people who (often very quietly) spoke down Tutu or Mandela, are using Akinola as a damned role model.

    Simply put – “damn the peace makers who strive for equality and a voice in their governance, but hail the extreme bigots, who want to imprison and/or kill the “icky” people.”

  6. #6 Leni
    January 20, 2007

    It’s incredibly infuriating. Nigeria is a signatory to the UN Declaration of Human Rights which of course it is not binding, but I hardly see why they bothered to sign it all. Maybe they should have attached a signing statement to it saying “…Except for gays”.

    Here’s the Church of Nigria’s contact information if anyone’s interested.

    I’m sending hatemail. Polite hatemail, of course.

    The Rev. Canon Akintunde A. Popoola
    24 Douala Street, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja,
    Nigeria.

    Tel:+234 9 5236950, 5230987, 5230989
    Fax: +234 9 5231527
    E-mail: communicator1@anglican-nig.org

    Tell us what you think about our web site, our organization, or anything else that comes to mind.
    We welcome all of your comments and suggestions.

    See? They welcome comments.

  7. #7 James
    January 20, 2007

    Since when did a UN agreement make the slightest bit of difference?

    With Nigeria pulling crap like this its only a matter of time before they become part of the UN human rights commission along with Myanmar, Cuba and Saudi Arabia, if they aren’t already.

  8. #8 SharonB
    January 20, 2007

    The next time Dobson, or some other RR leader go on Larry King or some other nice-nice show, someone needs to ask them directly where they stand on this vile legislation.

  9. #9 ZacharySmith
    January 20, 2007

    I think comparisons to Nazi rhetoric and racial purity laws are entirely appropriate in cases like this. I’ve been atsonished over the past couple years at how much the anti-gay rhetoric coming from the religious right in the USA sounds like Nazi rhetoric. (They’re undermining our culture, They’re recruiting our children, etc. etc.)

    And the fact that Nigeria is even pondering this legislation is absolutely appalling.

    Yes, Nazism is indeed alive – different actors, same script with a few name changes.

  10. #10 Dr. X
    January 20, 2007

    There is an exception in the bill. If the venue is an internet cafe there is no limit placed on the number of gay people permitted to gather as long as they are all operating phishing scams.

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