MONDAY, 28 JANUARY 2013

Nigeria sticks to traditional values over same-sex marriage, says Senate President

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Nigeria is set to criminalize same-sex unions, and defaulters when convicted will spend 14 years in jail.  This is contained in a bill which has passed all required readings in the senate and should soon be signed into law by Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan.  Many nations of the West such as the United States are worried by this and since the announcement of this bill early 2012, have been mounting pressures, overt and subtle on the Nigerian government and legislators, to kill the bill.

The Nigerian senate president David Mark has now dashed any hopes of ever going back on the bill.  Speaking early in January this year he said, “We will not compromise on this. I want to invite you all to join the crusade of decency in our society. There are many good values we can copy from other societies but certainly not this one (same sex marriage).”

I find it interesting that Mark would publicly acknowledge the pressures they have been subjected to, a move which should force the lobbyists to come out into the open.  Remember how Britian’s David Cameron was told to keep his economic aid if he wanted to hinge it on African’ countries compromising on their traditional values?  To Cameron and the likes of Barack Obama, David Mark has this parting shot: “We have to prove to the rest of the world, who are advocates of this unnatural way that we Nigerians promote and respect sanity, morality and humanity. Every individual is a product of the union of a man and woman.”

Political expediency sometimes makes people cowardly, and so being called ‘homophobic’ has become one of the greatest social sins today.  Many opponents of this forthcoming Nigerian law say it is barbaric and will lead to ‘homophobia’, understood as hatred of the individuals who feel same-sex attractions, and may even lead to violent attacks against them.  It should be pointed out that the proposed law condemns not the individuals but the act of trying to use the legal and moral cloak of matrimony to cover what is clearly an aberration.  That, the Nigerian government has decided it would not do.

And should anyone think this is just a government position, it is enough to read and hear the thousands of outpourings of support from ordinary Nigerians in support of the bill, to realize that for once, the biggest country in Africa is deciding to stick to its traditional values.


MORE ON THESE TOPICS | Nigeria, same-sex marriage

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Africa is a continent that is big, joyful, generous, enthusiastic and optimistic. Harambee tells its stories: from its love of life and family, to people who have withstood great odds to stories of innovation achieved with limited resources. Our partner is Harambee Africa International, a Rome-based NGO. We want to hear from you. Contact Eugene Ohu, the editor, at harambee@mercatornet.com


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