While more countries are striking down anti-gay laws and making new ones to enable and protect gay marriage, many countries in Africa are moving in the backward direction of strengthening the already present anti-gay laws, countries like Nigeria. It’s not enough that being gay is already illegal, the law-makers are pushing forward a bill that seeks to further criminalize it with prison sentences of up to 14 years for LGBT and allies. On Thursday 30th May, the House of Representatives passed the bill, meaning that it goes to the President Goodluck Jonathan for approval. Should he do so, I fear for what will happen to gay men and women in Nigeria. Already gay-bashing is rampant and people have lost their jobs on the basis of perceived (not proven) homosexuality. The country is already strongly divided in so many ways – religion and tribe to name a few ways that should not be important in 2013 especially in a developing nation. It is sad the legislators are more interested in driving the country further apart than in pushing for its togetherness and continued development. Interestingly enough, people keep saying that there is no way the President will pass such a bill but that was also the general consensus when it moved to the House of Representatives for consideration. I hope this ridiculous piece of legislature and supreme waste of tax-payers’ money doesn’t move any further than it has already done. However I won’t be holding my breath.
Tag Archives: politics
I came across this article on African politics and homophobia via Identity Kenya which set out to find out why many African governments have such a strong anti-gay stance. Its major observation was that many politicians and government officials use homophobia as a tool to divert the attention of the masses away from the lack of support structures, the growing corruption and unstable economies. In other words homophobia has become a bunch of keys for distracting children(citizens) whilst their toys(money) are taken away from them. Read the rest of this entry »
So Ghana’s elections started Friday the 7th, a day which was a public holiday for other reasons but thankfully so. Throughout the runup to the elections, it seemed as though trying to pick between the two major aspirants was like being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. On one hand, an aspirant from a great party who has a reputation for being arrogant and pompous and on the other a party with a horrible track record and with recent allegations of serious misappropriation of government funds. None of them came out on top during the presidential debates, that honor belongs to Dr. Abu Sakara Foster but it appears the general public can’t be bothered candidates that are not part of the major parties. Read the rest of this entry »
The United Nations General Assembly finally passed a resolution condemning extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions including those carried out on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The UAE and Singapore were among the 44 countries that attempted to strip away this new clause but this time their proposed amendment was not supported by the majority. Ultimately only one country voted against resolution (Iran) but a number of African countries (including Ghana) abstained. I wonder how the delegates reached that decision. It will be interesting also to see how people react to this (assuming it is covered at all by the local media).
Read more on this on the IGLHRC website here
A year ago, news came from Nigeria that the Senate was attempting to pass an anti-gay marriage bill that would lead to gay men and women being sent to jail for up to 14 years. In addition, anyone who failed to inform the police about any LGBT could face jail time – up to 10 years. As a result of this, men/women who may not be gay but are sharing an apartment could be accused of being gay and brought up on charges. It would also create a rift in families who know their son/daughter is gay but have chosen to remain quiet – their silence could mean their freedom. This created an intense international backlash and it seemed that the bill had died. This bill has surreptitiously passed a second reading in the lower house without any dissent. Read the rest of this entry »
There has been a bit of an interesting buzz caused by a Nigerian actor who was convicted for having “unnatural carnal relations” (in other words sex with a man) whilst both were under the influence. He pled guilty and is to serve three months in jail. I shudder to think of what life will be like for him when he gets out. However the bright spark of hope in all this is that fact that there was no unanimous homophobic celebration of the verdict. Apparently even the media weren’t crazy about it and a lot of people have publicly commented that the trial was a waste of time and resources. People’s minds are changing for the better and that is always a good thing, in my book anyway.
Read the full article here