Open Letter To Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

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 offSDC15091ice 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…]

Venting my concerns over Nigeria’s new Anti-LGBT Law

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.

 

Stupid, homophobic arguments in support of Nigeria’s ‘Jail the Gays’ law:1-The West should legalize polygamy before they impose gay agenda on Africans!

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 DSC_0951 newhold 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…]

Gay Cameroonian, Roger Jean-Claude Mbédé, imprisoned for sending love text message to same-sex person, dies.

This is so depressing! Roger Jean-Claude Mbédé, the Cameroonian who was imprisoned for sending a text message declaring his love for another man, has died on Friday 10 January, in Cameroon.1526673_680845678602390_1820419341_n

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…]

Nigerian and Ugandan Lawmakers: The Passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bills

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. i

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.

Nigeria- Existing Laws against LGBT PeopleDSC_0956

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.70612_100002673874449_24624348_s 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.DSC_0951

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

India and the Re-criminalization of Same-Sex Relationships

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 wGay rights activists display a rainbow flag during "Queer Pride March" in New Delhias 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…]

Nigerian/African Anglican Bishops threaten to secede from Church of England over samesex marriage: A case of an apprentice arguing with the inventor about the contents of their invention

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.

ANGLICANIt 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…]

“Batty Man, Lesbians and dem Atheists cause bad weather”: Encountering Sexism, Homophobia and Religious delusion in one move!

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…]

THEY SAY IT IS CULTURE, I SAY IT IS TORTURE!

They say it is culturetag3

I say it is torture

Born a woman, a reason to be oppressed

It is culture, a woman must be suppressed

I must never be too forward

They will only drag me backward

As a woman I must learn to be submissive

For a man has the power to be dismissive

To be accepted

I must be subjected!

 

Different meals I must prepare

That’s what makes me special

They say teas I must make [Read more…]

The Politics of Colour: Being an invisible minority within an invisible minority

Bisexuals are not a very visible part of the LGBT community. Unfortunately biphobia is very much alive within the Lgbt community. This unfortunate issue has been cause for Bisexuals to come together to organize and gain more visibility in the LGBT communityDSC_0951 new.

When I moved to UK in 2009, I was eager to join the LGBT community and also be part of the bisexual community. I soon realized that although it is easy to have a social life beyond virtual interactions with Lesbians and gays activists, it is very difficult to actually meet bisexual activists.

Almost all the LGBT events I attended were dominated by homosexual concerns, nothing much about bisexuality. I have had to raise the question of more bi visibility at these events.

I also noticed that it is one thing to find Bisexual events, it is quite another to find people of colour represented at these events. Unlike most lgbt events (which are actually gay dominated events), there are at least a noticeable number of people of colour, the few bisexual events I have attended failed in this area.

Sometime last year, after making enquires about bi groups and events in UK, a Bi friend who lives outside UK sent me a link to a bi weekend event organized by bisexual activists in UK.  I was glad to attend and was also happy that one of the main themes for the weekend was Race. The event was held outside London and I had to travel a bit to get to the destination, optimistic that it was going to be a great weekend with fellow bi activists. [Read more…]

Let’s talk about Bisexuality and Biphobia

Many always ask the question, ‘what does it mean to be bisexual? I am aware that there is a lot of confusion out there about what bisexuality means. However, contrary to popular opinion, bisexuals are not confused. The confusion is from the many who simply do not understand what bisexuality means. So what is Bisexuality? [Read more…]

And the award for the most stupid PhD Research goes to Chibuihem Amalaha for his unscientific proof that samesex marriage is wrong!

“Nigerian Student Uses Magnets To ‘Prove’ Gay Marriage Is Wrong”050913F.scientifically-prov

 I know, I know, I know. It is beyond embarrassing. It would have been just a stupid, funny entertainment show if it was not such an indictment on Nigeria’s educational system. With all the messages I am getting about this ludicrous assertion, it seems I have no choice but to make a blog-post on it. *sighs*

 A student of University of Lagos studying Chemical Engineering at the School of Post Graduate Studies, Chibuihem Amalaha, has used science to prove that gay marriage is improper among other breakthroughs, writes Charles Ajunwa, in ThisDay Newspaper.

 In recent time I found that gay marriage, which is homosexuality and lesbianism, is eating deep into the fabric of our human nature all over the world and this was why nations of Sodom and Gomora were destroyed by God because they were into gay practice. That is, a man marrying another man and a woman marrying another woman.

 First and foremost, someone needs to sit this guy down and explain to him that gay marriage or rather same sex marriage is not the same as Homosexuality or Lesbianism. Marriage is a social institution; Homosexuality is a type of sexual orientation.

 Also, what was all that nonsense about Sodom and Gomorrah? Should we even need to tell any high level science student that God has no place in scientific research? Was the science lab a reconstruction of the fables and myths in the Book of Bible Stories? Was he not told to keep his God delusions out of laboratories?

 When a scientist uses God to justify or validate research, it is a clear sign that the person has no idea that science is different from fiction and any attempt to mix the two would end up as science fiction for kindergartens. Or at best, Weekend entertainment at a comedy club. Such a person should never be referred to as a scientist. [Read more…]

Reactions to my recent interview make me wonder: Do Nigerians Hate Atheists more than Gays?

DSC_0961I already know that many Nigerian Christians are really stupid; I just wish I could get over the severity of their stupidity and the glee with which they display it. My recent interview  in a National Nigerian Newspaper, TELL Magazine,  has given them an opportunity to display their ignorance, bigotry and delusion on various Naija blogs that shared the interview.

Reading the various comments many Nigerians left on this blog and this blog, amongst many others that reblogged the interview,  has left me wondering if Nigerians hate Atheists more than gays!

Warning, if you are likely to want to gouge your eyes out when you read homophobic, ignorant comments, I’d advice you steer clear of the comment sections on these blogs.

Unfortunately, these religious believers and die-hard homophobes are not content with displaying their Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and God delusions on the comment sections of these blogs. They are also very keen to share it with me on my facebook inbox and wall.

  • Many Nigerian religious believers are stupid enough to think invoking the wrath of their Skydaddy on me is scary.
  • They are bigoted enough to insist on sharing their imaginary God with me.
  • They bombard my inbox with silly scriptural verses as if quoting from their bible or Quran somehow m599780_10151137996406873_6890324_nakes their God real. In that case Batman is as real as their God; after all I can quote from Batman series.
  • Nigerian Christians throw tantrums because I do not wish to play with their imaginary Holy Trinity friends; God, Jesus and Holy Ghost. How very childish!

And to crown their stupidity, they leave ignorant, bigoted, hateful comments on my posts and interviews and then go ahead to request that I add them as friends on Facebook! Really, how much more stupid can they get! I bet like Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo did to Ese Walters, these bigoted religious homophobes want to show me a level of grace I cannot comprehend. ROTFLMAO! [Read more…]

Order your sizzling copy of Freedom To Love For ALL: Homosexuality Is Not Un-African!

BookCoverImage new vistaAbout the book

Sexuality rights remain a controversial issue in many parts of Africa; it is not just a controversial issue but also a taboo subject. Many countries in Africa still criminalize homosexuality. Sodomy laws remain part of the criminal laws thereby making it legally possible to persecute sexual minorities. For example Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania and Ghana all have laws under which homosexuality can be prosecuted. In South Africa, where the constitution recognizes same-sex relationships, gays and lesbians are often attacked, molested and persecuted for their sexual orientation. Many African societies do not provide enabling environments to discuss sexual orientation issues. Homosexuality has been condemned by many African leaders as Immoral, Un-African and a ‘White man’s disease’. 

In Nigeria, lawmakers are resurrecting a version of a widely condemned anti-homosexuality bill. [Read more…]

Not begging for my LGBT/Human Rights does not make me Aggressive, just Assertive. Deal with it! Part 2

249138_10151008479421873_936068164_nI am quite active on Facebook, it is one social media I use effectively for advocacy and my personal idiosyncrasies. On my facebook page and groups, I am sometimes accused of making ‘long’ responses to comments. The truth is, I am a stickler for facts. I just can’t ignore a sentence that needs debunking, certainly not if it is right there on my wall. Therefore I tend to dissect every word that needs clarification. I guess I am one of those who can’t go to bed when someone is wrong on facebook! One good thing about this idiosyncrasy of mine is that it gives me inspiration and materials for my blog, some of those long responses are often ideas I need to share with others, especially when they address issues that crop up often. A single post would save me from having to make the same point over and over again on my facebook wall.  Now, here is another of these long responses that have now been turned into a blogpost.

It is important to shed more light on this “Stop shouting”, “stop being so aggressive”, “Listen respectfully to your abusers” admonitions I often receive from well meaning and not so well meaning self appointed advisers.  Below is a response to someone who obviously is not homophobic but was still religious enough to find my attacks on religion uncomfortable. He could not directly come out to say this so he cloaks his discomfort in words of advice and admonitions. While laying no claim to been a mind reader, unfortunately, this is one attitude I am very familiar with. [Read more…]