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.
This article is published by Eugene Ohu and MercatorNet.com under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation. Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees. Some articles on this site are published under different terms.