Creep of the Week: Nigeria’s House of Representatives

By | 2018-01-15T17:30:01-05:00 December 21st, 2006|Opinions|

If there’s one thing gays in Nigeria have it’s too many friends. Thankfully they won’t have to worry about juggling their social calendars once the Nigerian house of representatives makes it illegal to hang out with a homo.
Now, you can already be stoned to death for having gay sex in the Muslim north of Nigeria (in the “liberal” south you only get three years in prison). But this isn’t deterrent enough from the allure of gayness.
According The Associated Press on Dec. 12, “The proposal under debate in Nigeria’s house of representatives would outlaw not just same-sex marriages but any form of association between gay people, social or otherwise… Anyone attending a meeting among gay people, even two friends in a private house, could receive a sentence of five years under the act.”
I know, I know. You’re thinking, “But what about books and movies and Gay.com?” Don’t worry. The proposal has that covered: “Other activities specifically prohibited under the proposed law include participating in gay clubs or reading books, watching films, or accessing Internet sites that ‘promote homosexuality.'”
Haruna Yerima, a member of Nigeria’s house of representatives, told the AP that he supported the bans because gays, not to mention gay movies and books, might ”make such practices popular.”
Because everyone knows that’s how the gays get you. One day you’re walking down the street totally hetero, the next thing you know you see a copy of Genre on the newsstand or a marquee for the new John Waters movie and you think, “Hey, why haven’t I tried that before?” All it takes is one conversation with a real live queer to seal the deal.
As radical as Nigeria’s anti-gay proposal seems, it’s probably the kind of thing the American right-wing brigade dreams about. And while they haven’t tried this kind of all-out prohibition, they have ordered many elements of the Nigerian proposal a la carte. They’ve protested at “Brokeback Mountain” screenings, picketed the funerals of gay men, tried to ban library books that depict gay and lesbian families, shut down gay/straight alliances at high schools, boycotted gay friendly companies. And let’s not forget the anti-gay marriage bans across the country.
While the bill in Nigeria is expected to pass, Akin Marinho, a Nigerian human rights lawyer, says the bill won’t fly when it comes to Nigeria’s constitution and international treaty obligations.
”Under this bill, anyone watching Brokeback Mountain or even Will & Grace could be prosecuted,” Marinho told the AP, adding that the bill could even interpret a meeting between a gay client and a lawyer as promo homo.
Gay activists in Nigeria believe the proposal is intended to shore up the religious political base including Nigeria’s Anglican Church. What kind of political party would piss on civil liberties in order to make a bunch of people who use religion as an excuse to be bigots? Makes you thankful you live in America doesn’t it?
Oh, wait.

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