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Friday, 23 January 2009

EU MEPs protest anti-LGBT Nigeria

Yesterday, one of the official intergroups of the European Parliament, the Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights, asked for the suspension of all EU foreign aid to Nigeria in reaction to the 18 January passage of legislation banning same-sex marriages by the Nigerian House of Representatives.

Before this measure was even passed, Nigerian law was already some of the most Anti-Gay in the world.

In a statement release on their website Michael Cashman, President of the LGBT Intergroup said:

I do not understand how legislators in such a big and diverse country can be so cruel and indifferent to millions of their own people who are already such a marginalised and oppressed minority in their country."
Vice-President Sirpa Pietikäinen also added:
I am really surprised that no politician in the House of Representatives stood up against this proposal to state-sponsored homophobia. From our history in Europe we know what atrocities can be caused by disrespect of minority rights. The African continent unfortunately has similar experiences. That is why I am ashamed of the Nigerian politicians who do not dare to stand up against inequality."
But one Nigerian representative, Igo Aguma, said it was against the religious beliefs of Nigerians as well as the country’s penal code to “engage in activities that are as quarrelsome as this between man and man, as well as women and women.” Nigeria is 50 percent Muslim, 40 percent Christian with animists making up 10 ten percent.
It is time for us at this point in time to think back and look at the scourge of HIV/AIDS. The greatest means of transmitting this disease is through the act of sodomy. Young children are already victims of been lured into this cruel and unimaginable act. It is an act of perversion,”
While it is true that HIV/AIDS is on the rise in Nigeria, this probably has more to do with poverty, government corruption and religious bigotry, and a Nigerian government study on aids say, "Some 80% of HIV infections in Nigeria are transmitted through heterosexual sex…".

In 2007 Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, who said, “Homosexuality and lesbianism are inhuman. Those who practice them are insane, satanic and are not fit to live because they are rebels to God’s purpose for man,” pushed for laws in Nigeria that provided for five year’s imprisonment to anyone who “goes through the ceremony of marriage with a person of the same sex,” “performs, witnesses, aids or abets the ceremony of same sex marriage” or “is involved in the registration of gay clubs, societies and organizations, sustenance, procession or meetings, publicity and public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly in public and in private.”

There are nearly 18 million active Anglicans in Nigeria.



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