David Mixner | News | Nigeria | Russia

Where Anti-Gay Laws are Concerned, Nigeria Is No Russia

BY DAVID MIXNER

You bet Nigeria is no Russia. It is much worse than Russia.

JonathanWhile the LGBT community is jumping up and down (as we should be) about Russia, Sochi and the severe repression of Russia's gay community, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has just signed much more repressive legislation against LGBT citizens.

The repercussions of this new law are chilling.

Not only does the law ban marriage equality but also any LGBT relationship. If discovered, gay couples will be sentenced to fourteen years in jail. That is bad enough. However, it also provides for ten years in jail for forming any LGBT organization or supporting the formation of one. The law criminalizes even meetings between homosexuals.

Basically, you can now go to prison in Nigeria for owning an LGBT club, creating a LGBT social organization, supporting or forming an LGBT advocacy organization or simply meeting to discuss LGBT issues. The prison terms are harsh. The prison conditions are shockingly bad.

The odds of an LGBT African being sent to a Nigerian prison for ten to fourteen years and emerging alive are almost nil. Any such sentence is a death sentence.

Africa must be on LGBT Americans' radar screen as much as Russia. The conditions are rapidly deteriorating and tens of thousands of our brothers and sisters are impacted by these draconian laws. Uganda still has pending legislation waiting to be signed by its President that would trump Nigeria and give LGBT Ugandans a life sentence.

Secretary of State John Kerry has lobbied against the new Nigerian laws and quickly expressed America's shock and concern.

Religius_and_Ethnic_map_of_NigeriaWith all the dramatic problems facing Nigeria (including an insurgency that threatens its very existence as a nation state) why would President Jonathan be using political capital to pass and sign such legislation? It is exactly because of the Boko Haram insurgency that the President has signed the law. With his signature, he distracts his Christian followers from his failure to stop Boko Haram in the Islamic northern provinces.

Ironically, the anti-gay law only deepens the division in this frail nation state and in the end won't make a damn bit of difference in the direction of the emerging civil war. Don't be surprise to see political opponents arrested for 'homosexual conduct'.

LGBT Americans must put pressure on the Obama administration to take decisive action against Nigeria and Uganda now, or no nation in Africa will feel there is a price to be paid for these kind of horrific laws directed at LGBT Africans.

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Comments

  1. The funny thing about Goodluck Jonathan is that he looks as camp as a picnic basket. I wonder if he's hiding something about his own sex life.

    I'd also like to know why the NAACP hasn't spoken out against Nigeria's anti-gay laws.

    Posted by: brian | Jan 13, 2014 7:06:28 PM


  2. Yeah, why isn't Rev Al Sharpton (now on msnbc) reporting on this? I bet Rev's voice might just me more influential in Africa than he realizes?

    I do think Rev has it in him to show leadership here.

    I dunno if I'm ready to believe the NAACP is though.

    Posted by: Just_a_guy | Jan 13, 2014 7:19:29 PM


  3. Nigeria has just been made a member of the UN Security Council. Can you believe it? The UN is rewarding Nigeria.

    Posted by: brian | Jan 13, 2014 7:43:33 PM


  4. If people here paid attention to global LGBT rights, they would know this is not surprising in the least, and that honestly it is among the most mild anti-gay legislation in Africa. I'm glad this post implores people to get their heads out of the clouds.

    I understand people are over-focusing on Russia for a number of reasons, including the upcoming Olympics, and the fact that it is a white-majority, relatively developed country makes it more relatable to many Americans. But it is nowhere near the worst

    Posted by: Mike C. | Jan 13, 2014 8:05:07 PM


  5. Other than donating money to Amnesty International and IGLHRC (both very worthy organizations), what do you recommend David M.?

    Posted by: David R | Jan 13, 2014 8:09:08 PM


  6. Time for Western countries to close ranks, and cut off all aid to the third world...they are hopelessly violent, primitive savages. 60 years of shoveling money at them in hopes they would evolve have utterly failed.

    Posted by: Gregg | Jan 13, 2014 8:25:51 PM


  7. The gay community should be petitioning President Obama to stop aid to any of those countries. It's our tax dollars supporting these people.

    Posted by: Macmantoo | Jan 13, 2014 8:26:12 PM


  8. nigeria, untouchable in three words: oil. oil. oil.

    Posted by: unokhan | Jan 13, 2014 8:37:00 PM


  9. Brian, IIRC, that's an auto-rotating position, not at all a reward. Short of amending the UN Charter (which should happen), I don't think there's a way to fix that. :-(

    Posted by: Sean Robertson | Jan 13, 2014 9:12:17 PM


  10. I apologize, reader, in advance for my pessimism.

    If LGBT Americans want to put pressure, I understand and respect their decision to do so. However, I do not think that there is any real decisive action that the Obama administration can take; even if they were so inclined. I wonder what decisive action might look like.

    Also, nations feel that there is no price to be paid for horrific laws directed at LGBTs because they are right. There is no price to be paid for these kinds of horrific laws directed at LGBTs. In fact homophobic oppression is profitable, can be used as a distraction, and it gives people a sick pleasure.

    @ Brian; sure I can believe Nigeria has just been made a member of the UN Security Council. Why not? Anti-LGBT attitudes and actions are NORMAL.

    @ Gregg & MACMANTOO; I agree that all aid should be cut, but would such a thing happen? That depends on if the donating parties find horrific anti-LGBT laws objectionable enouch to cut aid. And I don't think donating parties care THAT MUCH.

    Posted by: polynomialc | Jan 13, 2014 9:42:05 PM


  11. Nigeria is a worse offender of human rights than South Africa ever was. When is the US government going to enforce international economic sanctions as it has against Iran? Silence = Death. We need to speak out against this kind of evil.

    Posted by: Martin | Jan 13, 2014 10:23:10 PM


  12. The west should know that africans will not accept any imposition of its moral decadence. Homosexual act in whichever form is a sin, and against the african culture. 98% of nigerians are against anything gay.

    Posted by: titus | Jan 14, 2014 1:10:17 AM


  13. The world is changing.

    The old guard of world economics (USA/Western Europe/Japan is fading).

    The rising giants are the BRIC countries (Brazil / Russia / India / China) of which only Brazil (and possibly China to a very slow degree) is progressing.

    Hot on the BRIC countries heels are the MINT countries - not as big but growing at a massive rate - Mexico Indonesia Nigeria and Turkey. Only Mexico and Turkey have any sort of space for LGBT people (and Turkey is regressing - hopefully proximity to the EU will keep it in check).

    That's the sad reality. These BRIC and MINT countries don't need our approval. We need their resources.

    Sadly LGBT rights worldwide are in for a very long night.

    Posted by: MaryM | Jan 14, 2014 3:48:30 AM


  14. DAVID MIXNER JUST SHOT YOUR TRAP IF YOU DONT KNOW WHAT TO SAY. NIGERIA HAS A DIFFERENT CULTURE FROM THAT OF OTHER NATIONS AND SHOULD NOT BE CONDEMNED FOR NOT SUPPORTING GAY. IF GOD HAD WANTED MAN AND MAN OR WOMAN AND WOMAN HE WOULD HAVE MADE IT SO FROM CREATION. BUT GOD ASKS US TO MULTIPLY WHICH IMPLIES A MAN MARRYING A WOMAN. SO NO FUSS ABOUT IT. NIGERIA IS A SOVEREIGN STATE AND HAS THE RIGHT TO MAKE DECISIONS. AND I SUPPORT THIS DECISION

    Posted by: jewel | Jan 14, 2014 4:42:33 AM


  15. NIGERIA DOES NOT MAKE DECISIONS TO AMERICAN AND GOD DIDNT GIVE AMERICA AS OUR STANDARD FOR DECISION MAKING. WHY DO NIGERIANS CARE SO MUCH ABOUT AMERICAN WHILE AMERICA DOESNT GIVE A SH..IT ABOUT NIGERIA. AMERICA JUST LIKE TO DOMINATE OTHER STATES MAKING THEM THEIR SLAVE

    Posted by: jewel | Jan 14, 2014 4:45:00 AM


  16. MARTIN YOU SEEM TO BE A CONFUSED FELLOW. I GUESS YOU ARE AN AMERICAN BUT IF YOU ARE A NIGERIA AND SPEAKING SO EVIL OF NIGERIA THEN YOU MUST HAVE A PROBLEM OF LOSS OF IDENTITY.

    Posted by: jewel | Jan 14, 2014 4:50:10 AM


  17. AMERICA HAS A CUNNY WAY OF PENETRATING A COUNTRY OF THEIR TARGET AND AMERICAN DOES NOT GIVE AID TO A COUNTRY WITHOUT DEMANDING ANYTHING IN RETURN. AMERICA SHOULD GO TO H..E..L..L WITH THEIR DECEPTIVE AIDE.

    Posted by: jewel | Jan 14, 2014 4:57:07 AM


  18. IF NIGERIA IS ACCUSED OF BEING THE WORLDS MOST CORRUPT NATION.....WHAT THEN DO WE SAY ABOUT AMERICA WHICH IS THE HEADQUARTERS WHERE ALL EVIL EMMANATES FROM....TERRORISM, ILLUMINATI, LGBT,AND FRAUD

    Posted by: jewel | Jan 14, 2014 5:00:36 AM


  19. Your 'god' is a stupid moron Jewel.

    You do realise that if you believe in 'god'then you are declaring yourself to be stupid and backward. There is no god - only idiots believe in it.

    If Jewel is representative of Nigeria no wonder Nigeria is such a dump.

    Posted by: MaryM | Jan 14, 2014 6:11:19 AM


  20. Your 'god' is a stupid moron Jewel.

    You do realise that if you believe in 'god'then you are declaring yourself to be stupid and backward. There is no god - only idiots believe in it.

    If Jewel is representative of Nigeria no wonder Nigeria is such a dump.

    Posted by: MaryM | Jan 14, 2014 6:12:04 AM


  21. They violate the human rights of LGBTA people because they believe LGBTA people will continue upholding their human rights.

    Posted by: Daniel | Jan 14, 2014 9:37:13 AM


  22. You write: "Africa must be on LGBT Americans' radar screen as much as Russia. The conditions are rapidly deteriorating and tens of thousands of our brothers and sisters are impacted by these draconian laws."

    Really? Africa is and always will be primitive. Always. It's in the nature of the people. Much the same can be said for Russia. We should disengage completely from these pathetic nations and let them be the hellholes they are without letting their people come to the USA. Whatever primitiveness there is in those people, we don't want it in the USA. We should never have allowed Russians to immigrate here, and the same goes for Africans.

    Posted by: Dan Cobbb | Jan 14, 2014 10:38:24 AM


  23. America is a civilized nation. We do not need the presence of primitive, animal Africans and Russians here. Keep them out. Totally.

    Posted by: Dan Cobbb | Jan 14, 2014 10:41:32 AM


  24. @ "America is a civilized nation. We do not need the presence of primitive, animal Africans and Russians here."

    Yeah. Tell that to the parents of the 26 children slaughtered at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 14, 2014 10:47:30 AM


  25. Its important to realize that we do have levers. Here's how we should start applying them:

    1) Visas to non-Gay Nigerians should be halted while we ensure that the applicants oppose the law.
    2) All foreign aid should be halted immediately
    3) Tax free treatment of donations should not be applicable to donations going to Nigeria
    4) Asylum shall be automatic for LGBT Nigerians. The overall level of immigration visas shall not be increased. Gay Nigerians shall simply go to the front of the line, in front of all other applicants, including family reunification.
    5) Direct remittances to Nigeria from the USA shall be taxed at 20% in order to pay for resettlement costs.
    6) Nigerian citizens living in the USA shall be deported for advocacy of gross human rights abuses, which include support for this bill or financial support of organizations supportive of this bill.
    7) American charities directly supportive of this bill shall have their tax free treatment suspended. This would include the Orthodox Anglican movement.

    Posted by: Tom in Lazybrook | Jan 14, 2014 11:59:04 AM


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