I woke up this morning to read online that two Nigerian men had been sentenced to jail for 2 years on the charge of “unnatural tendencies” and even though both cried for leniency – one crying that he had a wife and six kids (these DL men!) – the judge said the law must be upheld.
Nigeria, which is on many lists of countries to be avoided by LGBTI, and already has a bad human rights record, passed a bill criminalising same-sex marriage (the infamous “anti-gay” bill). Although there have been arrests and pubic humiliation of gay people in the past, prosecution leading to incarceration is uncommon.
Recently there has been a lot of public interest in homosexuality probably because of the gay marriage bill in the US and lot of it is not good. It seems that the majority of Nigerians feel that homosexuality should be rejected by the society (I wonder when corruption and embezzlement of public funds will be rejected so strongly).
The irony is that quite a number of people who are busy “rejecting” homosexuality in public are actually gay people in hiding (or people with some attraction to others of the same sex) that are too scared to be themselves. Even though I don’t believe it is my place for me to advocate that anyone should come out of the closet (being in Narnia myself) in such a hostile environment, it’s wrong to stand and promote homophobia when you are gay just to clear any suspicions others may have, thereby bringing down the work of others who are not as afraid.
I wonder if this is the first of many prosecutions targeting gay people in Nigeria. I just really really hope it’s not.