Showing posts with label Nigeria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nigeria. Show all posts

January 12, 2017

“My Views on LGBT are Personal Have Nothing Against Them”= Can’t Stand Them


Adamfoxie blog decided to include this story by the BBC about a Nigerian Comic who is using the LGBT community and the homophobia against them in his country Nigeria, to make money. He figures it would be a great marketing scheme, if he used a ‘negative’ in this case a group(a disliked group by many in his country who do not know or understand what gays really are like) to a ‘positive’ which would be getting people to pay attention to his ad about his upcoming show and thus getting more people to tune in to his ad about the show. But this is a negative and there are no positive in homophobia and sometimes the violence against this group in Nigeria.

No one who knows and understand the LGBT community would ever use a depraved way like this to show gays and thus bring to attention to his comedy show. Understanding that the more we criticize it the more successful he might be, still is necessary for everyone to understand his intentions, particularly all those gays in Nigeria who are in the closet and can read this and even see his video on the net and decide to make sure none of their money ends up in this anti gay not-funny man.

I thank BBC for bringing this story to the attention of the international audience and I hope I can put my part by having our readers be aware of this.

The title our blog has chosen for this story is reasserting what this man said and counter saying that those words are the words of homophobic, anti gay individuals. This is the code word use to say I can’t stand you but I am too much a coward to say it because it might be wrong ["I have my own views about LGBT people," he tells BBC. “It’s strictly personal, I have nothing against them.”].
Adam Gonzalez

 In a country in which same-sex sexual activity is illegal and LGBT rights do not exist, a sketch by a Nigerian comedian depicting a gay man who is about to be sexually assaulted has sparked a heated debate.
In the video, a gay man, played by well-known actor and comic Ogusbaba, is seen lying in bed at home looking at his mobile phone when a visitor comes to the door. The visitor is enthusiastically welcomed in - but has unexpectedly brought two heavies along with him, who confront Ogusbaba's character about his sexuality and use threatening language towards him.
As the video draws to a close the gay man is held down on a bed while the other three men threaten to sexually assault him.
The video - which emerged at the end of November last year - was recently reposted on a gossip page on Facebook. There it went viral, and has been viewed more than 390,000 times.
Comedian Ogusbaba
Ogusbaba insists that the skit "is just to make my fans laugh and to promote my tour." 
"I have my own views about LGBT people," he tells BBC Trending. “It's strictly personal, I have nothing against them." But prominent gay rights activists have condemned the video. 
They include Nigeria's first openly gay pastor, Reverend Jide Macaulay, who was forced to flee the country in 2008 after receiving death threats for his work setting up safe spaces for LGBT Nigerians to worship in.
"The Ogusbaba comedy glorifies and glamorises homophobia. What he is effectively saying to his followers is 'go out and assault gays and let's laugh about it' - this is not funny," says Macaulay, who has launched an online petition calling on Ogusbaba to stop promoting hate crimes against LGBT Nigerians.
"We have documented many cases of violence against unsuspecting gays who meet people via social media or other means and simply agreed to a date or sexual encounter. Social media is being used to entrap gay men," he says.
Sexual rights advocate Bisi Alimi - who was the first Nigerian to openly declare his sexuality on national television, which led to death threats and his resulting move to the United Kingdom - believes the motivations behind Ogusbaba's sketch are clear.
"He [Ogusbaba] wanted it to go viral. He knew the average Nigerian would find it funny and share it," Alimi says. “He knew it would create controversy and be talked about."

BBC Trending

June 12, 2015

US Sends Powerful LGBT Delegation to New President of No Gays Nigeria


This week General Muhammadu Buhari will be inaugurated as Nigerian’s president, a position he won by campaigning on a platform of change. But will that change include the people on the fringe of society, like lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals? Will he eliminate the current repressive policies that his predecessor President Ebele Goodluck Jonathan approved? Can the U.S. and other governments pressure him to do so?
So far, Buhari has offered no public opinion on the matter. This includes when he was a military general and in 1983, toppled a democratically elected civilian government and ruled for 18 months until he himself was overthrown in another coup. At that time, LGBT issues were not part of the public discourse. 
It was only in 2004 that the issue came to the forefront during a famous TV interviewbetween Funmi Iyanda and myself, an openly gay Nigerian actor. Attention to the issue grew two years later with the introduction of the Same Sex (Prohibition) Act. Then in 2014, President Jonathan passed a harsher law that mandated a 14-year prison sentence for anyone in a same-sex relationship and a 10-year term for anyone who supports gay clubs, meetings or societies. Anti-gay violence has increased in the year since it passed.
In a recent report released by the LGBT Coalition in Nigeria, more than 100 cases of abuse against the LGBT community was recorded in 2014 alone. Thirty-nine instances of this abuse were carried out by state actors, including the police and it includes; arbitrary arrest, extortion, unlawful detention and “consensual” outing to family members.
As a presidential candidate, Buhari made no public pronouncement about this controversial law or the abuse of LGBT people. Nor did he comment when the opposition accused him of planning a deal with the countries in the West to repeal the law. So what will he do now?
Of course, at this point, there are really only two options: continue to support the repressive law or repeal it.
Supporting it would be the easier and more popular route. According to a 2013 Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes and Trends report, 98 percent of Nigerians said they believed homosexuality was not a way of life that society should support. In 2013, NOI, a Nigeria based opinion polling agency, showed 92 percent of Nigerians supported the anti-gay bill, largely because of their religious beliefs. But as more countries approve LGBT rights – with Ireland being the most recent example – and as entities like the World Bank refuse to loan money to countries that have anti-LGBT laws, he risks losing international support.
If Buhari decides to repeal the law, he will have more international support, but he will be swimming against the tide and the wishes of most Nigerian people. On the other hand, a Buhari government that supports and upholds the law will be committing a grave mistake by denying many Nigerians the right to live a safe and full existence. Further, because it’s unsafe for them in Nigeria, LGBT individuals account for one of the highest number of migrants from Nigeria to Europe and America, taking with them years of investment in term of education and expertise. Isn’t it in Nigeria’s best interest for them to be able to stay at home and contribute to the development of the country?
While at least for now, Buhari might be silent on this issue, the global community should not be. His inauguration gives them an open window for new engagement and re-negotiation with Nigeria on the issue of social liberty, justice and LGBT rights. The U.S., UK, Germany and the Nordic countries should see this as a chance to support, mentor and encourage Buhari to take the lead in championing true democracy, not just in Nigeria but across Africa. If he is given the right international support through soft power negotiation and not bullying, through encouragement and not probing, through mentoring and not dictating I hope it can happen.
Fortunately, President Barack Obama is sending a powerful delegation led by Secretary of State John Kerry to Buhari’s inauguration, signaling the important role Nigeria is playing in trade and security in West Africa and Africa as a whole. While I have openly criticized the U.S. LGBT Special Envoy Randy Berry, I acknowledge this is a golden opportunity for the U.S. to make good use of his office and support him in working with Nigerian LGBT and civil society.
Clearly Buhari has a lot of competing interests on his time, like fighting Boko Haram, creating jobs and crushing corruption. And his human rights record has not always been good. Like when he curtailed the freedom of the press and endorsed the flogging of civilians for simple infractions like crossing the road instead using footbridge. However, many of his other actions show him to often be a leader who has at the core of his politics humanity and human rights.
While I will not hold my breath that it will happen immediately, I do have hope that one day he will extend those human rights to all Nigerian citizens, especially if there is pressure from the international community like the U.S., from LGBT Nigerians who live abroad, and from activists within the country.
 Bisi Alimi
Alimi is a lecturer in pre- and post-colonial sexual orientation and gender identity in Africa at Berlin’s Freie Universtat and an alumni of the Aspen Institute’s New Voices Fellowship.

December 29, 2014

First Gay Nigerian Actor Comes Out, Adebisi Alimi

Adebisi Alimi, an actor-turned-activist, was the first person ever to come out as gay on Nigerian television. He now shares his story when he speaks up for the rights of the LGBT community.
Adebisi Alimi, an actor-turned-activist, was the first person ever to come out as gay on Nigerian television. He now shares his story when he speaks up for the rights of the LGBT community.
Claire Eggers/NPR
Adebisi Alimi is the first person ever to come out as gay on Nigerian television. But that wasn't what the 29-year-old wanted to be known for back in 2004.
Alimi's acting career was just starting to take off when his sexuality stole the spotlight. The student newspaper at University of Lagos, where he was studying theater, threatened to publish a photo of him with his then-boyfriend. So Alimi beat them to the punch. He went on "New Dawn with Funmi," one of the most popular talk shows in Nigeria, and challenged a long-held belief that homosexuality was brought to Africa by white colonizers. That was also the year Alimi was diagnosed with HIV.
Suddenly, his home country no longer saw him as a rising star. Alimi lost his roles on TV and on stage, many of his friends shunned him and the police even arrested him on unexplained charges. In 2007, things got worse. He was detained at the airport on his way back from the United Kingdom, where he gave an interview to BBC Network Africa, and was released two days later. Then a group of men entered his home and attempted to kill him. Alimi fled to the U.K. and hasn't been back to Nigeria since.
But Alimi says, "My story is not a story of a victim; it's a human story." Without it, he says, he wouldn't be the outspoken activist he is today.
Now 40, Alimi shares his story when he speaks out for the rights of gay black and African men. He's the founder of Bisi Consultancy, an organization that develops social policy recommendations based on HIV research on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. For his birthday on Jan. 17, Alimi has also started a campaign called 40four40 to raise 40,000 pounds — or about $62,000 USD — for four LGBT charities.
Previously, he founded the Independent Project For Equal Rights-Nigeria, a nonprofit for LGBT youth, and helped set up the U.K.’s first international LGBT organization, Kaleidoscope Diversity Trust
And while he's no longer living in Nigeria, Alimi is deeply affected by the country's anti-gay law passed in January. The law mandates a 14-year prison sentence for those who marry someone of the same sex and 10 years for anyone who, directly or indirectly, supports LGBT organizations.
Alimi was in Washington, D.C. last month for the 2015 Aspen New Voices Fellowship. Asked about his thoughts on the law, he says that, in a way, "I'm happy about it."
Why are you happy about Nigeria's harsh anti-gay law?
I see the law as a catalyst for change for good in Nigeria. You don't understand what it is like to fight a beast that you cannot see. Before the signing of that law, between 95 and 98 percent of Nigerians were in support of it. The latest poll says 88 percent of Nigerians now support the law. That's a 10 percent drop. Some people who are not LGBT are now saying, "Did we just support a law that criminalizes people ... for falling in love?" [When] you see that your uncle or cousin is gay, it kind of changes the conversation.
Speaking of family, how does your family feel about your identity?
I'm in a relationship that I can't talk to my parents about — it's like a big elephant in the room. But [the fact that] they want to accept me [as gay] is a form of support.
I was diagnosed [with HIV] in 2004, and I've never discussed it with my parents. This is my personal life, and I don't want them to get involved with it. Many times when I struggle with the challenges of being gay and being [HIV] positive, even living in diaspora and so many other things, I just really want to have somebody I can cry to who has blood lineage but I just said no.
So who is in your support network?
Mostly close friends. Many times it's people I don't know. I remember one incident when I was at my university. I was going back to my room at night and I was stopped by two guys. They were making very derogatory statements and becoming really aggressive. There was a [student] coming. So I raised my voice: "What did I do to you, why are you guys so frustrated with me?" ]The student] stopped and said, "What's going on?" I told her these guys were attacking me, and they said, "Oh he's gay, he's a faggot." She just looked at them and said, "What if he's a faggot? What's your problem?" She stood up to them. These are the unsung heroes of my existence because anything could have happened that night.
Back in 2007, a group of guys tried to kill you and that's when you fled the country. But did you ever want to leave Nigeria before then?
I was lucky enough to go through a 2-hour ordeal of being beaten and almost being shot in the head and escaping. If those guys are still alive, they might have read one or two of my interviews. I wonder how they feel that they almost killed me. But I felt that leaving was never a choice until my mother said, "Do you still have reason [to stay]? I think you should leave." 
How did you react when when you were diagnosed with HIV?
 By 2001 I started working in HIV prevention because I lost my best friend [to the disease]. So I was kind of aware. That was why my diagnosis was a shock to me. I broke down and started crying and thought like this is the end of my life because I have seen my friends die. It's such a big thing that even within the gay community, if you're positive, that's the end of it. Nobody wants to talk to you or date you, but you become the story everyone wants to talk about. So I didn't tell anybody. I carried it for three years before leaving Nigeria. I didn't start medication until 2009.
If you had known about the treatments and support for HIV then, would you have reacted differently?
No, because then I might still be in Nigeria. And I still wouldn't want to talk about it because it would still be a death sentence. Treatment is a big challenge and people [in Nigeria] still don't have access to it. And the support system is still not there because of the stigma against gay men — it's a belief that [HIV] is a punishment from God. So it's very difficult to exist with that system.
How would you assess the progress across Africa in providing HIV treatment?
We are still betraying generations when it comes to HIV prevention and treatment. Many people still need access to this treatment and we still have children being born with the virus when we know we can prevent it. We're lacking political willpower and funding to HIV projects. It has become a political game.
Being an advocate gives you a different kind of stage than acting does. If you had a choice, would you go back in to acting?
I think I studied theater because I was pretty much a drama queen [laughs]. Acting is my biggest passion. The unfortunate thing is that it's something I would never touch again because it left a big scar in my life. Even when I did try to go back to acting, I kept thinking, "If you keep doing this, you're going to bring up media interest again." I have media interest now but it's very humane. It's not about who I kissed last night or who I'm hanging out with.
So you're done with theater?
If there's anything I want to go back to, it's acting. I want to be back on stage dancing and acting, but Im also very scared of it. 

December 11, 2014

He Killed His Gay John when He Refused to Pay in Nigeria


Gay sex leads man to early grave.
Yes, you have plenty of commercial gay sex exchange in Africa just like in Vegas.

A man suspected to be gay, Mohammed Umar, has been arrested by the police for allegedly murdering his gay partner, Mohammed Snu, inside a room of a hotel in Garki, Abuja, over an argument about payment for services rendered.
The police reports that Snu died after he was stabbed multiple times in the ribs with a screw driver by Umar.
The deceased, a regular guest at the hotel, was said to have invited Umar for gay sex, but their romance went sour when he refused to pay his partner for the second round of sex.
A hotel staff told Punch Metro that the two men had sex twice, but Snu allegedly refused to pay for the second round, which led to a scuffle.
"The man had just come back from a mosque where he went for prayers with his partner when we heard a loud noise from his room and a voice saying ‘ya kuri (please, don’t be angry)’.
By the time we forced the door open, we saw Umar standing naked and Snu lying dead on the bed with stab injuries on his body. We immediately called the police and Umar was arrested."
The FCT police later went to the hotel and carried away the corpse of Snu as well arrest the hotel manager.
They also drove away the deceased white Mercedes salon car with Abuja registration number, KUJ 883 AQ, which was parked on the hotel premises.
The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Peter Okechukwu, confirmed the incident, explaining that the deceased invited the suspect to massage him in his hotel room, saying he had pains in his ribs.
"In the course of the massage, Snu asked Umar to undress for sex, and from there, they engaged in a scuffle leading to the stabbing of the deceased by the suspect.
It was the loud noise from their room that attracted the hotel workers.
When our men got to the hotel, we found the deceased and the suspect naked. Investigations have commenced and we will soon know what actually transpired behind the closed door.”

December 3, 2014

Raped and tortured Nigerian in danger of being deported

Becley Aigbuza
San Diego resident Becley Aigbuza is in danger of being deported back to Nigeria, where he was raped and tortured for being gay in 2008.
Aigbuza has lived in the United States since 1994 but on a visit to his aunt in Nigeria in 2008 she reported him to the police for being involved with a local man. He was taken from his aunt's house, locked in a cell and beaten up by the other prisoners when the police told them he was gay. Then he was taken out by three police officers and tortured and raped.
Aigbuza told human rights group EveryOne: 'After being forced to admit to them that I was gay, the police tied me up, burned my forehead with cotton wool soaked in acid and took turns sodomizing me with a beer bottle for hours. I woke up in hospital in Benin City with a dislocated shoulder, a broken hand, bruises and wounds all over my body and a mutilated testicle. I had been betrayed by my own family and cruelly punished just for loving a person of the same sex.'
By bribing a nurse Aigbuza managed to escape the hospital and Nigeria and fled back to the US. There, he contacted the Nigerian Embassy to report the abuse he had been subjected to. Aigbuza told EveryOne the Embassy official told him he deserved the treatment because he was gay and if he went back to Nigeria 'things would get much worse'.
In 2011 Aigbuza applied for US citizenship, but during the process the authorities discovered that he had applied for a credit card using a false name. Aigbuza told EveryOne that was 'the biggest mistake of my life' and said he was 'scared, dejected, depressed and without any support whatsoever' after his family disowned him and sent him death threats for being gay. The US authorities turned down his application for citizenship and started the process of deporting him back to Nigeria.
The hearing for Aigbuza's case is set for 28 February. EveryOne are appealing to the US state department, the White House and the UN to review his case and to save him from deportation back into the hands of torturers in Nigeria.
‘I’d rather die than face deportation,’ Aigbuza said. ‘What is more, my father and my relatives back in Nigeria have vowed to kill me, to cleanse “the abomination and shame I have brought upon my family by being gay”.’
Human Rights Watch World Report 2012 said that in Nigeria in 2011: ‘As in previous years, the undisciplined Nigeria Police Force was implicated in frequent human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, and extortion-related abuses.’ The report also said that Nigeria’s criminal code punishes consensual gay sex with up to 14 years in prison and in Muslim states applying Sharia law, homosexual sex among men is punishable by death by stoning, and by flogging and six months in prison for women.
Source: Gay Star News

December 1, 2014

Award Winning Nigerian ’Homophobic laws Drive Gays into the Shadows’


Award-winning Nigerian writer Jude Dibia’s first novel, Walking With Shadows, has as its central character a gay man who lives his life as a married family man.
The title of the book is appropriate because, as Dibia explains, gay people in Nigeria do not officially exist. They are forced to live in the shadows.
Dibia said gay people in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa are increasingly fearful of “outing” themselves because of laws and other repressive measures that discriminate against them, and these restrictions on free expression are driving LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex) communities further underground.
“Being gay in Nigeria is so funny because you cannot admit to it,” Dibia says. “You have to pass as something else and create a different persona and live that persona. And, sometimes for some people, they end up being married and they have families and they try to suppress who they are.
“But, there is a lot of depression and struggles there,” he says.
Taboo subject in Nigeria
Dibia’s novel was one of the first to deal with the taboo subject of homosexuality in Nigeria. On a personal note, he says writing this book has allowed him to discover who he is and to make some changes in his own way of thinking and living as a gay man. He calls the experience therapeutic and says he has become more comfortable in his own skin.
He says both he and a small independent publisher in Nigeria put up the money to finance the publication of Walking With Shadows.
Dibia says bookstores in Nigeria have refused to stock the book. But, he says it has been selling by word of mouth and has become his best-selling novel in the country.
He says the book has triggered a debate on gay rights and has changed the discussion of LGBTI issues in Nigeria.
“There was a discussion that was started and that was very positive. Before people - oh you mentioned gay it is like under the table in whispers. It was such a taboo word even to say homosexual in public,” Dibia says. “But, now people could talk about homosexuals in the context of my novel without it sounding like a dirty word. It was more for discussion and a debate on the character this, the character that. So, I started more or less a sort of discussion.”  
But, gay people in Nigeria are not safe.
Their sexual orientation is putting them at greater risk since the passage of Nigeria’s repressive new law on homosexuality on January 7. Gay sex is banned in 38 of Africa’s 54 countries, but the Nigerian law goes further than that.
Under the law, people in same-sex relationships can be imprisoned for 14 years. The operation of gay clubs and gatherings of gay people is forbidden and can result in a 10-year jail term.
Even public displays of affection by gay men and lesbian women are criminalized.  
Chilling effect upon community
Dibia says the law is having a profoundly chilling effect upon the gay community.
“People have gone further underground, but they still are trying to survive. And, I think maybe that is why online now on the Internet and on blogs you are seeing more stories coming out,” he says.
“There is a lot of anger festering in the underbelly. … But, more stories are popping out there because of this law. And, I think it is a good thing. In its own way, it is a good thing,” Dibia says.
Dibia says he has had threats against his life.
Currently, he lives in exile in the United States. He says he would like to go home, but it is not safe for him to do so. He says he would rather continue his work outside his country, than go back and lose his right of freedom of expression.
Dibia says he does not expect the Nigerian government to change its attitude toward homosexuality overnight. But, he is sure some change eventually will come.

September 26, 2014

Torture Officers at Police Stations, Nazi Germany? Yes and Nigeria too


The young Nigerian man shown above is growing up during a grim time in his nation’s history: One in which the use of torture is so routine in police work that many stations are keeping informal “torture officers” on staff to handle aggressive interrogations.
A gruesome report from Amnesty International exposes the scope of the problem, showing that both the military and police use torture routinely in interrogations against everyone from suspected militants to supposed thieves — and sometimes, even victims of crimes are subjected to horrific tactics. Amnesty claims to have collected the data over the course of the last ten years, illustrating how sustained the issue is, and the human rights organization is calling for immediate action to stop the torture and murder of Nigerian men, women and children.
Spokespeople for the Nigerian police see the issue differently. Emmanuel Ojukwu, a police spokesman, told the BBC that while torture “may happen,” it’s “appropriately dealt with,” and that anyone wishing to file complaints should contact supervisors at police stations and higher up in regional police authorities, if necessary. His comments fly in the face of the massive amount of evidence collected by Amnesty, which includes testimonials from people of all ages not just about graphic torture, but about how routine and unremarkable the process was — many police stations, for example, had chambers specifically set up for torture, as well as officers tasked to perform it. Victims reported rape, electrocution, water torture, beatings and other abuses at the hands of Nigerian law enforcement.
Amnesty’s press release notes that: “The report also reveals how most of those detained are held incommunicado – denied access to the outside world, including lawyers, families and courts…Torture has become such an integral part of policing in Nigeria that many police stations have an informal ‘Officer in Charge of Torture’ or O/C Torture. They use an alarming array of techniques, including nail or tooth extractions, choking, electric shocks and sexual violence.”
This does not speak well of Nigeria’s law enforcement system — violating human rights is in and of itself a terrible abuse that needs to be rectified, but it also means that police are not properly investigating crimes and that the outcomes of any police investigations, trials and subsequent convictions or acquittals are also suspect. That leads to widespread trust and reliability problems with the entire police force and justice system — even when a department respects the human rights of suspects, the actions of abusive departments cancel out its efforts to solve cases within the boundaries of the law. When a nation’s criminal justice system is compromised, it can increase the risk of corruption as well as larger risks for residents, including an increased risk of violent crime.
Shockingly, torture isn’t even illegal in Nigeria. If it’s not a big issue, as police officials claim, surely a formal ban with clearly-outlined penalties for being involved in torture shouldn’t present a hardship or a concern for police departments. After all, if they’re not torturing anyone, surely a law about it won’t affect them…right? 

March 18, 2014

Two Countries that Experienced Inhumanity Now Are Making Inhuman Their Gay Population

It is a tragic irony that two countries in Africa -- Nigeria and Uganda -- that for many years experienced the subjugation of colonial rule have recently enshrined into law discriminatory practices that dehumanize their own citizens.
In Uganda, a draconian bill recently signed by President Yoweri Museveni makes it a crime to be gay. Any person convicted of "the offense of homosexuality" faces life imprisonment. Anyone found guilty of "funding or sponsoring homosexuality or other related activities" will be sentenced to a seven-year jail term.
Apart from being a flagrant abuse of human rights, the new law will severely impede the efforts of any organization conducting HIV prevention and outreach programs serving gay men in Uganda.
Gay men, other men who have sex with men, and transgender individuals are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS -- in Uganda and the world over. Driving a community that is already stigmatized further into the shadows will seriously undermine progress on the global epidemic, progress that depends on reaching the most vulnerable populations.
Opprobrium from the U.S. and other nations is greeted by Uganda's leaders with a familiar refrain: Stop trying to impose your values on us. But the United States is as entitled as any nation to espouse a set of values, and if those values enshrine the right of all people to be treated with dignity and respect, then we should make every effort to export them.
The struggle against HIV/AIDS, now in its fourth decade, has always also been a human rights issue.
In the early days of AIDS in the United States, when confusion, ignorance and hysteria reigned, there were those who called for people with HIV to be quarantined or tattooed. Until recently, HIV-positive people were barred from entering the United States. Fighting for its life in the early 1980s, the gay community rose up and the struggle for gay rights became the civil rights struggle of the tail end of the 20th century.
It is far from over, but with the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," which sanctioned anti-gay discrimination in the military, and victories on same-sex marriage in 17 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, we have made substantial progress. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has called gay rights one of "the defining civil rights challenges of our time."
Responding to the passage of the anti-homosexuality law in Uganda, President Barack Obama said it would "complicate" the United States' relationship with Uganda.
Instead, the passage of this blatantly discriminatory piece of legislation should fundamentally alter our relationship with Uganda, a country that receives close to $500 million annually from the U.S. in foreign assistance, largely for HIV/AIDS programs.
To make its position abundantly clear, the U.S. should redirect its assistance for HIV/AIDS and other health and development concerns toward nongovernmental and civil society organizations working in Uganda. Indeed, if protecting the human rights of gay people is in fact a priority of U.S. foreign policy, then we should re-examine our relationship with all countries receiving foreign aid and restructure our relations with those that criminalize homosexuality.
As Archbishop Desmond Tutu rightly declared in condemning the Ugandan anti-homosexuality law: "There is no scientific justification for prejudice and discrimination, ever. And nor is there any moral justification."
What does exist, however, is the very real possibility that this cancerous bigotry will spread to other countries wishing to scapegoat an easily targeted minority.
If they have an ounce of humanity, the governments of Uganda and Nigeria will repeal these odious laws without delay.

March 14, 2014

UN Chief Comes Down Hard on Nigeria on Gay Human Rights

The UN rights chief, Navi Pillay, Thursday said Nigeria's recent ban on same-sex marriage violated human rights and the nation's constitution.
"I'm concerned with the implication of the recently-passed Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act," Pillay said during a meeting with Nigeria's justice minister as part of her three-day official visit to Africa's most populous nation.
"In addition to the violation of fundamental human rights enshrined in the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), it is a violation also of the African Charter and the Nigerian constitution itself," she said.
Nigeria has been under fire internationally for banning gay marriage and alleged abuses while tackling Islamist insurgents in the north of the country.
President Goodluck Jonathan had in January approved a bill banning gay marriage and same-sex partnerships that sparked international condemnation.
Under the terms of the law -- criticised by the EU, US and Amnesty International among others -- anyone who enters into a same-sex marriage or civil union can be sentenced to 14 years in prison.
"It (the law) may have negative consequences for public health in Nigeria," the UN chief said.
"It may deter LGBT persons from taking up HIV education, prevention treatment and care services and also hinder the ability of government as well as civil society and religious groups from implementing such services.
She called on authorities to observe a "moratorium on prosecution".
The anti-gay law follows similar legislation in Uganda that was condemned by US President Barack Obama as "odious" and compared to apartheid by South African peace icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Pillay, who ends her visit to Nigeria on Friday, also expressed her concern about "the impunity enjoyed by perpetrators of human rights violations" in the country and urged authorities "to investigate and prosecute allegations of human rights violation".
She alleged that crimes committed by Boko Haram Islamists and security forces battling insurgents have "horrendous impact" on civilians.
Rights bodies and other groups have often accused security forces of human rights violations in their campaign to battle the insurgency which has claimed thousands of lives since 2009.
She said she would encourage Nigeria to take concrete steps to abolishing the death penalty by reducing the number of crimes punishable by it.
In response, Justice Minister Mohammed Bello Adoke said "the focus of the (anti-gay) Act is therefore discouragement of same-sex marriage which is a reflection of the overwhelming beliefs and cultural values of the Nigerian people".
He claimed that a 2013 opinion poll showed that 92 percent of Nigerians rejected same-sex marriage.
He added that the constitution did not approve extra-judicial killing and "has zero tolerance for any form of cruelty or inhuman treatment".
"While there have reports of extra-judicial killings, let me assure you that security officers that have been found culpable, irrespective of their position, are made to face the full weight of the law," he said.
Her visit is the first by UN human rights chief to Nigeria.
Agence France-Presse

February 17, 2014

Nigeria: Mob Goes Looking for Gays to Cleanse the Towns

Several major news outlets are reporting that yesterday there were mob attack justice trying to find gays to clean the towns in Nigeria. Gays are running from both the mob and the Police, What a f*#g choice? If we can put pressure on Iran on Nuclear Weapons, We can’t put pressure on those hacks? They use money and food like everyone else. What sanctions are not imposed for Human Rights Violations? Be man or woman next President its got to have balls to deal with human rights. No promises no talk, just carry a long enough stick to reach to these places. We have done it with nations that had jews that could not leave, Soviet Union and from Communism; Everywhere from Cuba to China.

This MOB armed with wooden clubs and iron bars, screaming that they were going to "cleanse" their neighbourhood of gay people, have dragged 14 young men from their beds and assaulted them.
Four of the victims were marched to a police station, where they were allegedly kicked and punched by police who yelled pejoratives at them, Ifeanyi Orazulike of the International Centre on Advocacy for the Right to Health said on Saturday.
Police threatened the men would be incarcerated for 14 years, he said, the maximum prison sentence under Nigeria's new Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, dubbed the "Jail the Gays" law.
Activists have warned the law could trigger attacks such as the one perpetrated early on Thursday in Abuja, the capital of Africa's most populous nation.
Mob justice is common in Nigeria and civil rights organisations have been warning for years of an increase in community violence and the government's failure to curb acts in which people have been beaten to death for perceived crimes such as theft.
"Since the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act was signed, we have expressed concern as a friend of Nigeria that it might be used by some to justify violence against Nigerians based on their sexual orientation," the US Embassy said in a statement Friday.
"Recent attacks in Abuja deepen our concern on this front."
Orazulike said he got a panicked email from a colleague who said he was hiding from a mob of 40 people who struck around 1 am Thursday, going from house to house saying their mission was "to cleanse" the area of gays.

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