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Religious leaders praise Nigeria’s new anti-gay law, claim it’s ‘God’s will’

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
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ABUJA, Nigeria — Leading Christian and Islamic leaders are praising Nigeria’s new law banning same-sex marriage and outlawing anyone from forming organizations supporting gay rights.

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

Protestors demonstrate against Nigeria's anti-gay law.

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Protestors demonstrate against Nigeria’s anti-gay law.

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.”

On Monday, the Presbyterian Prelate Emele Mba Uka also praised the new law.

“Homosexuality as one of the greatest human deviant behaviours has been with man from earliest times. Man has fought it for a long time but it refuses to die,” he said.

Uka equated gay sex with “incest, rape and adultery” and said that such a “perverse sexual lifestyles attract God’s punishment” which is “hell.”

Muslim religious leaders also voiced their support. Dahiru Usman Bauchi, leader of the influential Tijaniyyah school of Islam in Africa, praised Nigeria’s National Assembly and President Goodluck Jonathan for signing the measure into law, saying they had made the electorate proud.

He described same-sex marriage as “inhuman,” saying even in the animal kingdom it cannot be tolerated.

“Has anybody ever seen a donkey marrying its male counterpart, cocks, oxen, or even hens, it is abominable,” he said.

Another Muslim cleric, Mallam Musa Kutama said that he was “100 per cent in support of the Federal Government’s action.”

Nigerian LGBT rights advocate Davis Mac-Iyalla told LGBTQ Nation Tuesday that law does much more than prohibit gay marriage, “its a draconian that criminalizes every aspect of being LGBT, hence its nickname: ‘Jail All The Gays.’”

The bill punishes anyone attempting to instigate a same-sex marriage or civil union by 14 years imprisonment, and outlaws “gay clubs, societies and organizations, their sustenance, processions and meetings,” or anyone who helps them, imposing jail time of up to 10 years for offenders.

In addition, the bill prohibits the “public show of same-sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly.”

“That law is a clear human rights abuse,” said Mac-Iyalla. “It has nothing to do with marriage equality. Even if you don’t agree on homosexuality, where in the bible does it says that you should Jail or kill them?”

“Any person of faith should object to such a violent law, but regrettably it seems to have given a license for religious leaders to preach even stronger anti-gay messages than before and encourage the persecution of LGBT people,” said Mac-Iyalla.

On Friday, the deputy head of the Hisbah (Islamic Police) in Kano state, Usman Nabahani, told AFP the law was a “welcome development” and pledged to wage a war against LGBT people.

“We are given more power, we are given more support now to wage serious war against these issues,” he added.

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