President Goodluck Jonathan signed the anti-same-sex marriage bill into law on the 7th of January. It was all very hush-hush unlike the fanfare that accompanied the bills various movements through the House of Senate. The bill bans all gay clubs and activist groups meaning that it has effectively shut down any dissenting voices. That such a bill will be passed in a country where it is already illegal to be gay seems ludicrous but there is a clichéd saying that truth is often stranger than fiction and sadly that seems to be the case here. Just as surprising was the amount of homophobia some young citizens released on Twitter. Although Nigerians spoke out against this new law, most were citizens living outside the country. As much as I know that it’s not everyone that feels that way and as much as I know that some gay people feel pressured to join the gay-bashing brigade online to maintain their “cover”, I can’t help with wonder if the anti-gay sentiment is stronger than I thought. If the people who are computer literate, have access to the web and its attendant wealth of information could still say such things in this day and age, then what about those who don’t have such tools and/or knowledge available to them? Gay men and women have been warned to stay of all dating sites and not meet any new people because it is expected that violence against LGBTs will rise fast. I wonder what will happen to the young gay boy or girl who is now discovering themselves in this climate.
Life just got harder.