Nigerian Gay Rights Leader Narrowly Escapes Brutal Attack

Jim Burroway

March 22nd, 2008

UK Gay News is reporting that an unnamed Nigerian gay rights leader narrowly escaped being killed in a mob attack during a funeral for the sister of Davis Mac-Iyalla, a leader of Changing Attitudes Nigeria (CAN). The unnamed victim of the attack recounted what happened on the CAN web site:

“I am in total shock and living in fear while feeling the pains I suffered in the hands of a mob group that attacked me at the Service of Songs for Davis’s late sister. While hymn singing was going on a muscular man walked up to me and asked me for a word outside the compound.

“The next thing I saw was a mob group who were there to attack me. They started slapping and punching me, kicked me on the ground and spat on me. I have never known fear like I knew when they were brutalizing me. I thought they were going to kill me there and then. While beating me they were shouting: ‘You notorious homosexual, you think can run away from us for your notorious group to cause more abomination in our land?’ Those who attacked me were well informed about us so I suspect an insider or one of the leaders of our Anglican church have hands in this attack.”

We’ve reported before on statements by Nigerian Bishops intended to foment hatred against gay people. Nigerian Archbishop Akinola has been the leader of the emerging schism in the Anglican Union over the acceptance of gays and lesbians in the church. He has also publicly endorsed legislation which would strengthen Nigeria’s already draconian anti-homosexuality laws, which provide for imprisonment for up to fourteen years. According to Human Rights Watch, the proposed legislation would have:

provide[d] for five years’ 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.” Any priest or cleric aiding or abetting such a union could be subject to the five-year prison term. The law would also prohibit adoption of children by lesbian or gay couples or individuals.

Changing Attitude Nigeria calls on the Church of Nigeria to denounce the recent attacks.

Tom in Houston

March 24th, 2008

I’m wondering how many arrests were made. I’ll bet it was a round number. A very round number.


March 25th, 2008

Nigerian Anglican Church (and all associated with it) = h8r church.

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