I’m just writing to say goodbye.
I’m going to prison,
for 14 years,
for being gay
And if you associate with me, or don’t report me, whether you are straight, gay or bisexual, you face 10 years too… [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…]
January 15, 2014- Nigerian LGBTIs in Diaspora Against Anti Same-Sex Laws unequivocally condemns the signing into law of the draconian Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition bill by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Nigerian Lawmaker unanimously passed the ill-thought out draconian bill earlier in 2013 and sent the harmonized version of the bill to the president for assent on 30 Dec, 2013. The bill was reportedly signed by the president on 7 January 2014. [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
Nelson Mandela was probably the first name I ever associated with Human rights during my childhood. His relentless struggle against apartheid nurtured in me the fire against injustice. I identified with his struggle for Freedom and Equality; he was my human right hero and a living lesson in compassion and forgiveness. To me, the name ‘Mandela’ was (and still is) synonymous with anti-apartheid, defiance against injustice, fight for equality and a passion for justice. It later became synonymous with Forgiveness. [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…]
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…]
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…]
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…]
It was reported that a young girl in Yemen had died after having sexual relations with a 40-year-old man who became her husband in an arranged marriage. The 8-year-old was identified as “Rawan” and died from torn genitals and severe bleeding in the northwest city of Hardh.
Some media reported that the practice of marrying young girls is widespread in Yemen and has attracted the attention of international rights groups seeking to pressure the government to outlaw child marriages.
Human Rights Watch reports that 14% of girls in Yemen are married before age 15, with 82% married before they are 18.
It is said that Yemen’s gripping poverty plays a role in hindering efforts to stamp out the practice, as poor families find themselves unable to say no to ‘bride-prices’ that can be hundreds of dollars for their daughters.
Tribal custom also plays a role, including the belief that a young bride can be shaped into an obedient wife, bear more children and be kept away from temptation. [Read more…]