Update on the public debate on Nigerian same “gender” Bill

Nigerian human rights activists made a strong presentation to the Nigerian National Assembly against the Same Sex Prohibition Act 2008 which will extend the present legislation to criminalizing lGBTI couples who choose to live together – which obviously potentially criminalizes any two people of the same sex living together. The presentation by openly gay men contradicted the statement made last week by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Madueke, claiming there were no “gays in the country and no registered organisations”.

There were also presentations from religious groups including the Anglican church which came out with the usual horrendous statements. This is not just a struggle for LGBTI rights but a much broader set of rights are at stake as to whether Nigeria is prepared to be an inclusive open democratic and secular society. Alternatively will it continue moving in the direction of a political agenda dominated and policied by right wing religious extremism whereby even getting a job or accommodation is based on whether you are affiliated with a church or mosque.

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