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Views & Voices

Nigeria’s anti-gay law fanning violence, ‘mob justice’ against LGBT people

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I woke up at 5:00 am this morning unable to sleep and worrying over my fellow LGBT Nigerians.

The violence in the wake of the passing of my country’s anti-gay law keeps me awake and I find myself constantly preoccupied with the security of my friends and countrymen.

anti-gayThe violence is now being fanned throughout Nigeria’s churches and mosques, incentivizing violence and “mob justice” against LGBT people.

Last week, Aloysius Agbo, the Anglican Bishop of Nsukka said, “Every Christian in Nigeria is happy about the development … especially when he did that contrary to the pressure from the western world.”

Being gay is “unnatural, unwise and ungodly,” he said. “If our forefathers have done that [same-sex marriage], many of us would not have been born.”

The first thing I did was to pick up my phone and start calling my Nigerian friends and LGBT networks asking if people have seen the light day.

The first to speak with me was Tochukwu, a 29-year-old gay man from Aba, who recounts how he ran away from home because his neighbors where pointing fingers at him saying he is “one of those homosexuals.”

He tells me how in his Anglican church of St Michael’s Cathedral, people are rejoicing and thanking God the new law anti-gay law.

He says he was avoiding going into the city for fear of been identified, as the violent mobs often rush to attack anyone suspected of being gay.

“You won’t be given a chance to deny or refute such claims before you are attacked,” he says.

Adams, a 25-year-old member of the campaign group Changing Attitude Nigeria in Jos says he is “living in fear and scared to even reply any chat that has to do with being gay.”

“I have not attended church since the law was passed because I don’t want to be attacked,” he tells me. “You need to read the newspapers to hear what bishops and religious leaders are saying. My members, most of who depend on cyber cafes as means of getting internet services are now in fear of their emails being spied by the authorities.”

Nik, a 31-year-old gay man from Abuja tells me that landlords are now giving notice to tenants who “look feminine,” or are “suspected” to be gay, to leave their homes because they fear mobs attacks which could vandalize their property.

He says that on Monday, during a meeting in Abuja of a non-government organization to discuss the new anti-gay law, “we received an alert to run away from the village where we are meeting because the police will be there for random arrest.”

“That was the end of the meeting … we all ran for our lives and have not been able to come together since then,” he says.

“As an Anglican and a gay citizen of Nigeria, I am not impress with the silence of the Archbishop of Canterbury on the anti-gay law passed by the president of Nigeria,” says Uche Sam, Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria.

“I want the Archbishop to speak against this law and call on the President of Nigeria to denounce this horrible law, and encourage the government of Nigeria to promote an inclusive Nigeria,” he tells me. “I also like the Archbishop to advice the church of Nigeria to be welcoming to all people and not persecuting us.”

Sam tells he how the law makes the work of Changing Attitude Nigeria illegal in Nigeria.

“We can get up to 10 years in prison if we are caught trying to organize a meeting,” he says. “As the law stands we can’t affirm our identity as LGBT members of the Nigeria Anglican church.”

I can agree with Sam and demand that the Anglican Church speak out against the anti-gay law and anti-LGBT violence in Nigeria. Christianity does not condone such violence, no matter what one believes or feels about sexuality and gender identity.

To remain silent means you are complacent with the legislation and its corresponding violence and I call upon the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury and York to speak out against the law and the violence now.

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52 more reader comments:

  1. So much violence and hatred toward the most natural of all things we share…love

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:42pm
  2. “Brutality” by any other name……

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:42pm
  3. So sad!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:43pm
  4. Suspend all aid to Nigeria.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:43pm
  5. what a surprise…

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:44pm
  6. All we need is LOVE da da da da da all we need is LOVE da da da da da all we need is LOVE LOVE, LOVE is all we need. <3

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:46pm
  7. So that is christianity.. And I thought it was about love and charity.. Guess I was all wrong

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:47pm
  8. not only christianity is against gays... and only stupid people make that religion into an excuse for their actions and hatred against gays.

    Replied on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 9:08pm
  9. Nigeria shall also reap what they are now sowing

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:49pm
  10. revoke it’s UN membership as punishment for violating human rights

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:51pm
  11. NO AID FOR NIGERIA.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:53pm
  12. Disgusting and sickening!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:54pm
  13. Ugh

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:54pm
  14. fuck nigeria w/ their homophobic ass.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:54pm
  15. It’s sad that these countries that are passing these laws are also the countries that are struggling the most.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:57pm
  16. WE ALL KNOE MIGERIA ES A LOWLESS COUNTRY, A RADICAL MUSLIM MAJORITY SEEDS CRIME, LOOTING AND VIOLENCE…SPECIALLY AGAINST MINORITIES, SUCH AS CHRISTIANS, GAYS AND OTHERS…

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:57pm
  17. Is the UN going to do something? That country should have severe sanctions from EU countries!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 7:59pm
  18. What brought this on? Nigeria? Why?

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:00pm
  19. Horrid.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:02pm
  20. Not Nigeria…this bitch as a leader…

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:04pm
  21. Sanctions begin…

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:04pm
  22. This is horrible. The U.N. should step in with some sanctions. These are human rights violations.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:04pm
  23. The ignorance is overwhelming, but the people from our own shores, evagelicals who traveled there to influence such heinous behavior should be sought out. Their pictures should appear next to the insidious images of the broken and bleeding people harmed by this viciousness.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:10pm
  24. wtf

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:16pm
  25. Nightmare

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:17pm
  26. Very interesting article, but the writer needs a spelling and grammar class.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:20pm
  27. Stupid savages!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:21pm
  28. Stupid savages !

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:23pm
  29. Horrible! The U.S. should stop
    sending financial aid forthwith!
    I do not want my tax dollars
    helping these criminals in anyway. The U.N. should but
    won’t do anything.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:28pm
  30. Just plain ignorance.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:28pm
  31. Bunch of backward savages.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:31pm
  32. Part of me wants to see Nigeria invaded, their government disbanded, and their people educated.

    The rest of me just wants to weep.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:33pm
  33. Why is this such a threat to someone whose straight?

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:36pm
  34. Know this the American Evangelicals are responsible for getting this started

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:47pm
  35. Same thing happens in Jamaica

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:53pm
  36. When are people going to start being honest about what’s right in front of our faces? America is supporting this behavior. Americans have been going to nigeria, and countless other countries, promoting hatred and violence against gays. Does anyone remember the excuse that people used for leaving “oppressive england”? Freedom from religious persecution. However, the majority doesn’t realise that it was religious zealots that were leaving their homeland. Their beliefs and actions we’re so hate filled, they needed a place to practice their hatred. The fact remains that they attempted to commit genocide on indigenous people because they “were soulless savages, and were like animals”. Now, the religious freaks are pissed that we won’t allow a society to believe that certain people have fallen out of favor with god because they don’t follow the indoctrination of what a sick few have chosen to believe. Therefore, they’ve left “oppression” again. Finding comfort in the fact that there are still peolle foolish enough to believe that murder and hate are cherished values to a creator that created all of mankind in “his” image. If That creator believes In such a thing, no wonder one of his highest ranked “angels” lead the charge in overthrowing that throne. I know which side I’d fight for in that battle. If this is what your god belives, I’m buying gold bars and molding a cow!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:54pm
  37. here speaks a sane person and intelligent one too

    Replied on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 9:10pm
  38. Those are not Christians, if they were they wouldn’t judge or be hateful. God is about love, why don’t these ppl get it!?

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:59pm
  39. Nigeria is most heinous criminal of hacker!!!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 9:00pm
  40. there are many in the world who have much to learn

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 9:06pm
  41. BOYCOTT NIGERIA.

    MURDERING THUGS AND BULLIES END UP IN HELL

    TELL AMERICA TO STOP THIS. STOP SENDING MONEY FOOD AND SUPPLIES THAT WILL USE IT FOR THERE GAIN

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 9:11pm
  42. This ignorance, bigotry and hatred is like a disease. As long as it goes unchecked it will spread and fan out till it infects the other minorities and soon enough even more countless innocent lives will be lost to this plague. We as a country need to do something about this, other wise the future our children, grandchildren ect. will live in a world far darker than the one we have now.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 9:54pm
  43. Very upsetting situation

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 10:16pm
  44. And the bloodshed won’t stop until the law is repealed.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 10:47pm
  45. I hope some huge natural disaster happens there and wipes the entire country off the face of the planet.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:13pm
  46. This is the result of American evangelical effluvia and fundamentalist filth lobbying African governments to pass such legislation. Such activities by these evangelical reprobates is illegal under U.S. law. It’s time for the State and Justice Depts. to start cracking down on this unlawful activity by these vile and hateful American extremists who know that what they can no longer accomplish in the U.S. they can accomplish with the superstitious and illiterate masses of Africans who will readily believe evangelical deceits.

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:36pm
  47. Not only is this really sad. IT IS JUST WRONG. Nigeria you are killing your own people!!

    Posted on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 11:50pm
  48. So wrong and horrible.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:05am
  49. Dangerous times all over the World! Things have to change!

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:09am
  50. Fucking brainwashed african fucks “doing gods work” go drink some fucking poison cult fucks

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:39am
  51. Horrible, sad. Rampant ignorance. Paul, I share your views fully. This is the work of Christians.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 12:54am
  52. They knew it would happen. Garbage government.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 1:40am