Amazing customer reviews of Freedom To Love For ALL: Homosexuality is not Un-African [Read more...]
Speaking during the demonstration, Yemisi Ilesanmi said:
“We are here to speak out on behalf of all oppressed Nigerian LGBTs who have been denied a voice in Nigeria. We are here to put a face on Nigerian LGBTs. We are here to remind you that LGBT Nigerians are not criminals and are worthy of celebration. We are here to remind all those who criminalised us and are turning us into asylum seekers that we will not be silenced. We are LGBT Nigerians and we are proud.”
The demonstrators left the guests with the message “Nigerian LGBTS and LGBT rights supporters are not criminals and we will not be silenced in our fight for our human rights. We hope as Nigeria celebrates its hundred years of existence, its people will also celebrate diversity and do away with homophobic, biphobic and transphobic laws.”
“Man is defined as a human being and a woman as a female – whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male.” Simone de Beauvoir. As we celebrate International Women’s Day, the words of Simone de Beauvoir ring loud in my ears.
As someone who became fiercely politically active as a young woman in a very patriarchal society, I was often ‘showered’ with the words “You are a man!” It was considered the highest praise you could give a woman for her bravery and courage while referring to a man as a woman is considered a below the belt insult. If only I had a penny for every time I heard these words from my fellow comrades, colleagues and mentors who actually should know better.
Please understand that calling a woman “a man’ because of her achievements or courage is NOT A COMPLIMENT. Those words are nothing but an insult to the woman, her achievements and gender identity. You do not honour me by calling me “A Woman like a Man“, in fact with such words you deny my gender identity and degrade my biological sex. I am a Woman and Proudly so.
We are all HUMANS irrespective of what the various creation myths say. Women demands recognition and respect as human beings. Brave and courageous women achievers do not need to be called A MAN as a compliment. Being called “A MAN” does not elevate us to the level of human beings; we are already human beings irrespective of our sex or gender identity.
Kindly recognise and respect my gender identity, this I believe is not too much to ask!
As we celebrate more than a decade of International Women’s Day, feminisation of poverty continues; Reproductive, Productive and Domestic roles still hold down the working woman from reaching her full potentials. The triple oppression of Racism, Classism and Sexism persistently affect our unity. Let us continue to fight all the Isms and Schisms that jeopardise our strength.
The degree of emancipation of women is the natural measure of general emancipation. Every society’s greatness can be measured by the way it treats its most vulnerable members. Every human being is born equal in rights and dignity.
You do not have to be a woman to support woman’s rights.
You don’t have to be gay, bisexual or Trans to support LGBT rights.
You don’t have to be a sex worker to support sex workers’ right to organise, unionise and work in a safe environment.
You don’t have to be an animal to support animal rights.
Stand up against oppression of women, stand up for equal rights, empower a woman today, emancipate yourself from mental slavery and DEMAND your inalienable human rights! No human being is born subordinate to another. No woman is born to satisfy a man, you are born to create and define your own ‘destiny’, even in the face of all odds. Your happiness is supreme.
Fellow sisters, assert your right and recognition as human Beings!
Happy International Women’s day to you all!
I watch helplessly as a friend, who is a Trans woman and until recently a believing Christian, suddenly discovered Karma, reincarnation and destiny. She has been going on and on about how God is the evil being who awards karma. She is now convinced God made her gay just to punish her for bad karma she accumulated in a previous life. She claims God appeared to her in a vision/dream and explained that she was a white woman in her previous life, however she was reborn a black African man in a homophobic society as a result of bad karma. God then threatened to punish her for speaking against him. Needless to say, this ‘revelation’ has made her very bitter about God, whom she now refers to as the ‘evil one’ to the chagrined of her now ex fellow Christians.
It pains me that this lovely being is distraught and torn apart by the myth of Karma, Reincarnation and Destiny. It is even more painful that after her long journey towards transitioning into her preferred gender, this new belief in Karma, reincarnation and destiny has made her bitter about being born gay to the extent that she now sees her sexual orientation and gender identity as a sort of punishment; a bad karma.
So, let’s talk about Karma, Reincarnation and Destiny.
So tell me, [Read more...]
27 January, 2014
Dear Dr. Chidi Odinkalu,
It is with deep concern that I write this open letter to you to register my dismay at the continued silence of your office on the recently signed Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act. It is surprising that as Chairperson of the Governing body of National Human Rights Commission, a lawyer and a human right activist of note, you have not deemed it fit to issue a public statement weeks after a section of Nigerian populace was criminalized and stripped of their fundamental human rights via a stroke of President Goodluck Jonathan‘s pen. The most you have said in your official capacity, albeit in private, is that you are still studying the new law.
Dr. Chidi Odinkalu, how long would it take your office to study this legislation? The content of the law has been known to you and most Nigerians since 2011 when the bill was first approved by the Senate. The harmonized version of the bill that was signed did not change much. In your official capacity, you must have received a copy of the Act as it is part of your official duty to advise the President on the human rights implication of bills tabled before him.
As a lawyer and a human right activist of note, you cannot claim to be unaware of the human rights violations inherent in this new legislation. Therefore, I wonder how you could turn a blind eye to such blatant violation of fundamental human rights. Is this about protecting [Read more...]
If only I could physically slap some sense into the hypocrites parading themselves as Nigerian lawmakers and the ignoramuses who are celebrating the ‘Jail the Gays’ bill! They had better be warned, the battle line has been drawn. Logic will supersede their infamous ignorance and Love shall triumph over their hate. Enjoy the TV interview.
It is no longer news that Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, has signed the ‘Jail the Gays’ bill into law. The Same Sex Marriage Prohibition law stipulates a 14 years jail term for same-sex marriage and 10 years imprisonment for public show of same-sex affection. The legislation stipulates a 10 year imprisonment for anyone who aids, abets or witness same sex relationship or marriage. The law also imposes a 10 year jail term on human rights defenders who advocate for LGBT rights or hold meetings to promote LGBT rights.
Ever since the news broke, homophobic Nigerians have been celebrating the so called ‘bravery’ of their clueless president, for what they see as ‘standing up to the western imperialists’, whom they alleged want to impose the ‘gay agenda’ on Africans. Many of those homophobes especially religious Nigerians, have been coming up with some of the most ridiculous excuses for supporting the ‘Jail the Gays’ law. Of course, there can be no reasonable excuse to support 14 years imprisonment based on sexual orientation or for holding meetings to discuss the human rights of Minorities.
No reasonable, rational and decent person would support depriving any human of their basic human rights including the Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Association and Freedom from discrimination, Freedom from torture, Right to privacy and Right to found a family. It is not surprising that some of those anti-LGBT remarks are not just ridiculous; they are plain stupid, bigoted and have ignorance at their very heart.
I will address some of those remarks under different posts which I will catalogue under the title and tag ‘Stupid, homophobic arguments in support of Nigeria’s ‘Jail the Gays bill’. I will kick-start this with the comment below which unfortunately was made by my good friend and comrade. This particular self-righteous indignation has been rearing its ugly head in many discussions. It has been raised by those who think it justifies signing the ‘Jail the gays’ bill. So let’s tackle it.
THE US AND UN SHOULD SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!! WHY DONT THEY ALLOW THOSE WHO WANT TO BE POLYGAMOUS, HAVE THEIR RIGHTS IN THEIR OWN VILLAGE?
1- I am assuming this is a cultural comparison because of the reference to polygamy. If you are making a “Homosexuality is not [Read more...]
He was sent to prison in March 2011 for sending a text message declaring his love for another adult human. The message was a simple “I’m very much in love with you”. How does such a message constitute harm? Why should this lead to imprisonment?
Cameroonian activist, Lambert Lamda, said Mbédé had been out of hospital for about a month before he died and had received no medical care during that period. ‘”His family said they were going to remove the homosexuality which is in him. I went to see him in his village. He could not stand up, he couldn’t speak.”
This is a sick society. What the heck are my fellow Africans doing to their brothers and sisters? Is condemning your flesh and blood to death for loving someone of same-sex your cherished African family values?
Why are those ignorant, hateful homophobes hell-bent on punishing us for loving another adult human being? Why are they bent on criminalizing our love? In the midst of all the suffering, hardship, poverty and wars, how could love be a crime? How does our love harm you or the society? [Read more...]
Ugandan Parliament’s idea of putting Christ back in Christmas was to present LGBT Ugandans with a gift of life Imprisonment! The parliament has now passed the anti homosexuality bill that was first presented before the house in 2009.
In April 2009, the Ugandan Parliament passed a resolution allowing Member of Parliament (MP) David Bahati to submit a private member’s bill in October to strengthen laws against homosexuality. The bill was proposed on 13 October 2009 by David Bahati.
According to its sponsor, it is based on the foundations of “strengthening the nation’s capacity to deal with emerging internal and external threats to the traditional heterosexual family“, that “same sex attraction is not an innate and immutable characteristic”, and “protect[ing] the cherished culture of the people of Uganda, legal, religious, and traditional family values of the people of Uganda against the attempts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sexual promiscuity on the people of Uganda”
The legislation strengthens the criminalization of homosexuality in Uganda by introducing the death penalty for people who are considered serial offenders, are suspected of “aggravated homosexuality” and are HIV-positive. People who are caught or suspected of homosexual activity will be forced to undergo HIV tests; Ugandans who engage in same-sex sexual relations outside Uganda will likewise fall under the jurisdiction of this law, and may be extradited and charged with a felony.
Furthermore, the bill requires anyone who is aware of an offense or an offender, including individuals, companies, media organizations, or non-governmental organizations that support LGBT rights, to report the offender within 24 hours. If an individual does not do so he or she is also considered an offender and is liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment up to three years.
The original bill stipulated the death penalty for same-sex relationships. The bill generated international outcry, US President Barack Obama described the bill as “odious,” while some European countries have threatened to cut aid to Uganda if the bill becomes law. The death sentence for homosexual behaviour was later amended to life imprisonment.
Ignorance is not an excuse to deny others the same right you enjoy as human beings. The combination of ignorance and hate is indeed a deadly weapon of mass destruction. Hate kills and African lawmakers seems to breed it in abundance.
Nigerian National Assembly also proposed a similar bill in 2006 known as the Anti Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition bill . and The National Assembly passed the bill earlier this year, but like the Ugandan bill, it is waiting for the President’s assent to turn it into law. The Senate on 18 December, 2013 unanimously adopted the report of its conference committee on the ‘Jail the Gays’ bill.
Nigerian Senate President, Senator David Mark called for the President to urgently sign the bill into Law. ‘The earlier we sign it into law, the better. [Nigeria] have many shortcomings, we don’t want to add this one to it.’ Senator David Mark stated this in his usual pompously ignorant manner.
According to him, “The law against same-sex marriage is an approval of the wishes of the generality of Nigerians who are desirous of living within our cultural bounds. “The law is not designed to infringe on the human rights of Nigerians in any way.” Hmm, David Mark probably does not consider Nigerian Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans as Nigerians or even Humans.
Nigerian and Ugandan Legislators have confirmed that they are all a bunch of ignorant fools and are part of the problems dragging the African continent backwards. Uganda has also earlier this week, passed an Anti-Pornography Bill, which bans miniskirts and sexually suggestive material such as some music videos. It seems violating the rights of its citizens are what most African parliamentarians termed as keeping with tradition! For how long shall innocent lives be the victims of ignorance, hate and power?
Uganda: Existing LGBT Laws
Homosexuality is currently illegal in Uganda as in many Sub-Saharan African countries, punishable by incarceration for up to 14 years. Under section 145 of the Uganda Penal Code, the act of sodomy is punishable by life imprisonment. (“Any person who (a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature . . . or (c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge with him or her against the order of nature commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.”). Sections 146 and 148 also further support this provision.
Under the Federal law in Nigeria, Homosexuality can carry up to a 14 year jail term. Under Shari’a law which has been adopted by 12 Northern states in Nigeria, Sodomy is a criminal offence which is penalize with death by stoning. This penalty is harsher than the penalty provided for Sodomy under the criminal code.
Chapter 42 of the criminal code, section 214, states that any person who “has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” or “permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.”
The Penal code states: “Whoever being a woman engages another woman in carnal intercourse through her sexual organ or by means of stimulation or sexual excitement of one another has committed the offence of Lesbianism. … The offence is committed by the unnatural fusion of the female sexual organs and or by the use of natural or artificial means to stimulate or attain sexual satisfaction or excitement”
The penal codes have simply taken over the language of the British colonial provisions on “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” Although these laws were imposed during the British colonial rule, they have been adopted by Uganda and Nigeria in its post-colonial era.
Nigeria and Uganda obligations under International Laws
The adopted anti-homosexuality bills in Nigeria and Uganda contradict fundamental freedoms under Nigeria and Uganda Constitutions and also under international and regional human rights law and standards. Nigeria and Uganda are signatories to a number of international treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. However, like many other African Nations, both countries have not held their obligations under international treaties in high regard.
The legalization of Homophobia in most African countries has created an environment of fear amongst African sexual minorities. The Anti-homosexuality bills in Nigeria and Uganda, if signed into law would negatively impact on human rights records and activities in both countries. However, a positive outcome of these proposed legislation is that sexuality rights have been brought to the forefront for debates. Topics that were once thought to be taboos are now subjected to debate in the public arena although the debates have been one-sided for fear of a possible backlash.
Although there has been a deafening silence from Nigeria left on the the Jail the Gays bill and LGBT rights, some Human rights organizations in Africa are beginning to come out in support of LGBT rights and are affirming that LGBT rights are human rights worthy of protection. This is a big step forward for the LGBT community in Africa because prior to the uproar generated by these proposed legislations, human rights organizations in African countries were reluctant to openly support sexual minorities.
Also, with the threat of the proposed anti-same sex bills, many human rights organizations, media and LGBT activists were educated on LGBT issues through organized seminars and workshops mostly organized by the international LGBT community in conjunction with local LGBT activists and human rights organizations.
The international community has been emphasizing that LGBT rights are human rights and in some instances some countries like United Kingdom and United States of America have threatened to cut off international aids to countries that are threatening to impose harsher legislative provisions to further discriminate against LGBT people.
However, a backlash flowing from the support of the international solidarity for the Gay community in Africa is the counter attack by some Africans especially politicians, who believe that this is just another mission of the west to control and impose its policies on Africa countries. This has led to resistance to any form of concession to LGBT rights.
It is not certain whether or not these adopted anti-homosexuality bills would be signed into laws in Nigeria and Uganda, however, the mere passage of such bills is detrimental to the rights of sexual minorities.
Last year, Uganda Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga said that the bill, which originally mandated death for some gay sexual acts, will become law before the end of Christmas. “Ugandans are demanding it,” she said. It was however not passed last year, I guess Santa Claus was delayed somewhere in the North Pole!
Nigerian and Ugandan lawmakers, by passing the ‘Jail the Gays‘ bills have shown the world just how hateful, intolerant and bigoted they are. Their gift of hate to Nigerian and Ugandans LGBTs is hugely supported by religious believers especially USA Evangelicals. Talk about putting Christ in Christmas! Really horrendous, I hope they choke on their hate-filled Christmas gift!
Related link- Trilogy: Debunking the African Homosexuality myths
I was shocked and dismayed when I received the news that India has re-criminalized same sex relationships. On Dec 11, 2013, the Republic of India Supreme Court overruled the 2009 landmark decision of the High court. Although I was aware that the 2009 victory has been challenged in the court by some religious bigots and politicians, I thought the Judiciary has made remarkable progress in human rights and wouldn’t think to take such a step backward.
In 2009, the Indian High Court ruled that the 19th-century provision of the penal code that prohibits people from engaging in “carnal acts against the order of nature” should not apply to consenting adults, including same-sex couples. Religious groups challenged the ruling, claiming that homosexuality is a Western import that hurts Indian society and family values.
The 2009 High court decision in favour of consensual same sex adult relationships had put India on a high pedestal in regards to the defense of sexual minorities’ rights. I did not think the Supreme Court was going to reverse the outstanding judgment. In fact I did not think there could ever be a good reason to reverse a decision which condemned discrimination and supports equality for all. But it just did. [Read more...]
I shared my post about the Twenty Reasons I am distressed by Religion and its Believers on my Facebook wall and as usual, some religious believers felt the need to defend religion with the usual “Religion is not harmful; it is some few bad believers that make it appear so“. I am really tired of explaining to self righteous religious believers that their religion is in and of itself harmful and yes, it causes us non believers, distress. Here is an example of such comment from a decent person who just happens to be a religious believer.
My dearest, religion if practiced in truth and in spirit is a way to cope with life’s difficulties.
Do not be distressed. If you can teach people how to cope with difficulties, you have a religion.
Religion is a discipline, a way of life to deal with life issues. Some have become predators using religion to take advantage of others—those I abhor.
I gave you my definition of religion. My definition does not include preying on children and calling them witches. No. Those who prey on others in the name of religion must be brought to line seriously.
Religion is about grace, mercy and faith and hope….We live by the principles of those who have been passionate and died for a cause. It is a choice and a way of life. Everyone has a religion.
While I appreciate and understand the way this commenter tried to paint religion, I must point out that Religion in its ordinary and accepted meaning is not “a discipline” or “a way of life to deal with life issues.” Religion is based on the belief and practice that [Read more...]
Blackface is not OK for Halloween, it is not OK for your themed parties and definitely not for dressing up as a murdered black teenager! I can’t believe we still have to educate some white people on why black face is never OK.
It is surprising that even some supposedly progressive white friends on social media think their black friends are being oversensitive about Blackface. Any friend of mine who hits me with the bullshit “Don’t be too sensitive about racism” will get not just a mouthful of sensitive words but also get lectured, if not immediately booted out. If knowing the history of Blackface, you still choose to find and justify some ‘good’ intent behind it, you really need to check your privilege.
For those who still do not know the origin of Blackface or who want to live in denial, please do your research on the history of Blackface before you don your racist Halloween costume or defend those who think Halloween is not complete without Blackface. [Read more...]
It was widely reported that:
“Anglican Bishops in Nigeria and the entire Bishops of Anglican communion in the entire Global South has threatened once again to pull out from the Church of England, if the Archbishop of Canterbury continues to recognize gay marriages, homosexuality, lesbianism and all other forms of social vices that permits same sex marriage.
The Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican communion, Rt. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Olisa Chukkwuma said the entire Bishops of Anglican communion under GAFCON, which covers the nations of the ‘Global South’ spoke with one voice, stating that the sanctity of the Marriage institution as prescribed in the Holy Bible, which says it must be between a man and woman, must be maintained without compromise.
It is pathetic that the people whose ancestors were forced to practice a foreign religion at gun point now defend same religion with such vigor that they even claim to know more about the religion than those who forced it on their ancestors.
As the Yoruba adage says- “Eni to ri nko e, to fe ku pelu e o, owo eni to ti sonu nko”. (Roughly translated as – When a person who finds a lost item belonging to another holds tenaciously onto it, in a ‘do or die’ manner, what about the person who originally lost the item?)
Laughing and at the same time shaking my head at the utmost stupidity of those Nigerian/African Anglican leaders.Just secede and stop making ignorant noises! I’d say good riddance to bad rubbish.
Obviously these Bishops are not very familiar with their Bible because if they were, they would know that there are many types of Marriages approved by their Precious Holy Book including but not limited to- [Read more...]
A few days ago, I posted this status update on my Facebook wall:
I was just on the phone with my Nigerian, UK based learned colleague who is a well established immigration lawyer in London, he was upset because a potential Nigerian client just informed him that he wouldn’t be needing his legal services anymore. And the reason? Well, the client’s wife, also a Nigerian, said she does not want a black person to handle their case. Note, she said ‘a black person’, not just a ‘Nigerian’, but a ‘black person’.
Denying anyone employment because of the colour of their skin is actually a crime in UK. If a white person had said this about a black person, it would qualify as racism, but how do one even describe this kind of self hate Persons of Colour throw at fellow Persons of Colour?
I told my friend it was their loss because they just missed out on having a good lawyer take their case, but really, when will black people shed their chains of inferiority complex and emancipate themselves from mental slavery?
I am so tired of hearing Nigerians in UK proudly talk about how they will never employ another Nigerian. They go on and on about a bad experience they or someone they knew once had with a Nigerian employee. With such hateful attitude towards our own, what right have we got to complain when the white person treats us just the way we treat our fellow black persons?
Well, October is black history month, it is time to lose that self hate along with the residual mental slavery!
When I made the post, I was not expecting a debate on ‘reverse racism’ and ‘black on black’ racism. It was basically to draw attention to the self-hate, inferiority complex and prejudice which many of my country men and women are afflicted with. Many have imbibed the belief that their skin colour, culture, gods, brain, accents and everything that is black is inferior. These are effects and byproducts of racism. This kind of attitude or reasoning from fellow black persons, especially Nigerians, just beats me. It tells of a deep seated inferiority complex and self-hatred that the perpetrators do not even know they suffer from.
Racism and self hatred isn’t exactly the same thing. Racism is an institutionalized thing, and it needs an openly or covertly supported power structure to survive. This is basically an internalized case of self hatred and discrimination. Unfortunately it is not a rare thing amongst PoC especially Nigerians.
Unfortunately my white friends on FB who decided to weigh in on the discussion immediately called it racism. They were eager to tell of how they or a white friend they knew once experienced racism from a black person. They eagerly gave examples of how Persons of Colour perpetrate racism on other persons of colour. A female white friend even claimed that she has personally experienced racism by virtue of being married to a black person. She wrote: [Read more...]
It certainly was not one of those days when I looked forward to dealing with a sexist, homophobic bigot, not that I ever look forward to encountering any of that, but when ‘my dear one’ asked me to help supervise the van removal drivers that were to move her things to a new place, I wasn’t expecting to confront all that in a single move.
She reminded me to thoroughly check the inside of the van to make sure none of her things was (intentionally or not) left behind in the van. She then added “They are Jamos, so make sure you check”. ‘Jamos’ is Nigerian short term for Jamaicans. Needless to say, I was irritated at this. I mean, what has their nationality got to do with how trustworthy they are? I know she would still have insisted I check the van if the van removal drivers were Nigerians, Americans or Britons. But I doubt if she would have added their Nationality for emphasis. Well, If they were fellow Nigerians, she probably would have added that, but if they were Britons, I doubt she would. Yes, I did call her out on this as I am not a fan of discrimination of any kind. [Read more...]