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May 31 2013

KINDLY SIGN THIS PETITION: SAY NO TO NIGERIA’S JAIL THE GAYS BILL.

RESIZEDKindly sign Nigerian LGBTIs in Diaspora Against Anti Same Sex Laws’ petition to urge President Goodluck Jonathan not to sign the Jail the Gays bill into law.

Petition- https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/president-goodluck-jonathan-don-t-sign-the-jail-the-gays-bill-into-law

To:
PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN, President Federal Republic of Nigeria
NIGERIAN LAWMAKERS, Legislators
SEN. DAHIRU UMARU- HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE, CHAIRPERSON- HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE
NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, NIGERIA, DIRECTOR
REUBEN ABATI, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan.
It is with deep concern that I sign this petition to register my dismay at the proposed Bill titled “An Act to Prohibit Marriage Between Persons of Same Gender, Solemnization of Same and for Other Matters Related Therewith” which has now been passed by the Nigerian House of Representatives and Senate. This bill contradicts fundamental human rights under Nigeria constitution, international and regional human rights law and standards e.g.
  •   Nigeria Constitution- Section 42 prohibits discrimination against any person on the basis of sex or membership of a group. Also, Section 34 guarantees the right to the dignity of the human person; it states “Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly no person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment”
  • The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights – This regional law affirms the equality of all people. Article 2 of the law states: “Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, color, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status.”
  • Article 26 of the law prescribes that “Every individual shall have the duty to respect and consider his fellow beings without discrimination, and to maintain relations aimed at promoting, safeguarding and reinforcing mutual respect and tolerance.”•International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) – Article 2 and 26 affirm the equality of all people before the law and the right to freedom from discrimination. Articles 18 and 19 protect the rights to freedom of expression and Conscience. Also Articles 21 and 22 protect Freedom of Assembly and Freedom of Association.
  • United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders – Article 5 of this declaration affirms that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels: a) to meet or assemble peacefully; b) to form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups.” Article 7 also states that “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to develop and discuss new human rights ideas and principles and to advocate their acceptance.”

Sodomy law is a relic from British colonization. The British parliament and many of its former colonies e.g. Canada, Australia, South Africa and India have repealed the law. Why is Nigeria clinging and seeking to strengthen this antiquated law through the proposed Anti-same sex relationship bill?

The argument that any sexual act or relationship that deviates from the standard heterosexual norm is against African culture is using “culture” to sanction the erasure of dialogue about alternative sexualities and to condone homophobia, therefore constituting a form of cultural violence. A society that stifles sexual and gender identities discourages the recognition of human dignity. LGBT rights are human rights-

  • Do not sign this bill into law
  • Say NO to the passage of this bill.
  • Repeal Sodomy laws and other criminal provisions against consensual same-sex relationships
  • Protect and uphold the human rights of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transsexuals and human rights defenders in Nigeria.

I hope you agree with me that States should be responsible for respecting, protecting and enabling human rights and not the limitation and violation of human rights of its citizens.

Thank you for listening.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

12 comments

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  1. 1
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Signed.

  2. 2
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    ditto

  3. 3
    VeganAtheistWeirdo

    You bet I signed. That was one of the better petition letters I’ve read on Change.org, too--not just grammatically, but well-supported and rationally presented. I hope it helps.

  4. 4
    Elly

    Signed.

  5. 5
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    Thanks everyone for the support! Please sign and share the petition, every voice helps.

  6. 6
    Stacy

    Signed.

  7. 7
    Onamission5

    Signed.

  8. 8
    tuibguy

    I certainly desire that the president listens and declines to sign this.

  9. 10
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    Thanks everyone, keep sharing the petition.

    @Partick Link- President Goodluck Jonathan did not sign the bill or any similar bill into Law last year.
    The Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill was passed by the The Senate last year, The Lower House just voted in support of the same bill last week. All the bill needs to become law is the signature of the President. A refusal by the president to sign the bill means the bill will revert back to the National Assembly for a 2/3rd majority vote to make it Law.

    Kindly sign and share the petition , thanks.

  10. 11
    thebookofdave

    Same-sex contact has already been illegal in Nigeria. What this bill proposes is a ban on pro-equality political activity, demonstration, lobbying, and perhaps legislative debate. Even passive assistance to its targets exposes one to criminal charges as an accomplice, so its most likely use would be the silencing of dissent and minority political opposition. I don’t understand how it could be interpreted as anything short of a direct assault on civil discourse.

    Anyway, I’m off to sign.

  11. 12
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    @thebookofdave -- The name of the bill is misleading as its true aim is not just to [prohibit same sex marriage (which is already impliedly prohibited anyway) but to further criminalize Same sex relationships and also use it as a political tool to harass and hound political opponents and activists. The bill violates all hard fought for human rights in the constitution, unfortunately the once vibrant Human rights movement in Nigeria are too blinded by their homophobia , they can’t be bothered to challenge this bill because of their own disdain for gays. The human rights activists should not be shocked when this bill is used to haul them into jail during political uprisings. I just hope they listen and join the fight against this bill before it is too late.

  1. 13
    Isn’t it strange that we need a petition to protest hate? » Pharyngula

    [...] wants you to sign this petition against the JAIL THE GAYS bill in Nigeria. I [...]

  2. 14
    Opposing anti-gay legislation in Nigeria » Mano Singham

    [...] it. Fellow FtB blogger Yemisi Ilesanmi, who is of Nigerian origin, has been following the case and urges people to sign a petition asking the president to not sign the [...]

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