Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The public hearing against gay marriage took place today

Report from the BBC here. Anyone who went along care to comment?


Lost at The End 12:42 am  

Well, I read the BBC piece and I'm depressed. Can you imagine the morbid ignorance? And parading kids with t-shirts saying... How low!

Ms. Catwalq 5:01 am  

Another day, another shame...

Sugabelly 7:52 am  

They went too far with the children in the t-shirts. Using children as billboards for causes that they are too young to understand is unfair. I bet 90% of the children there do not even understand the concept of a same sex marriage or homosexuality, so why drag them into this?

THE Y RIVER 9:47 am  

So its bad to be gay and good to be not?

Blo...bloo..ody hip hip hip...po...po...po...crites the Nigerian leaders. They are a bunch of paedophiles. There are lots of stories flying around about how many of these leaders are on HIV medication and yet continue to abuse secondary and university kids. These kids will receive money in return for unsafe sex.

They might as well teach the kids that all whites are bad. All blacks good. Or, two legs good. One leg bad. My religion is bad, yours is good. Her religion is good. His is bad. Ifa is bad. Christianity is good. Islam is good. Budhism is bad. etc etc

These poor kids will carry the stereotype with them when they visit other cultures - that homosexuals are bad heterosexuals are good.

Why are we being held down by a mix of cultures and attitudes that have failed the people?

But its only temporary. Tomorrow is another day.
What am I talking about here? Have we any discrimination laws? i.e. making discrimination unlawful on grounds of ones sexual orientation? That will be the law to counter this bill if it ever passes! Thats the way.
We need to develop our equality laws and I think the best place to start will be a law that prohibits dicrimination in any form against women. Then followed by one which prohibits disfcrimination on the basis of ones sexual orientation.

I believe in equality, freedom and happiness for all.

Anonymous,  10:15 am  

@ms Catwalq
on the contrary, that Openly gay activists stood up and said "God made me gay" at the national assembly should be a source of pride. I'm bowled over by their courage

DunDun 3:46 pm  

the sad truth is that the only thing the Christians and Muslims in Nigeria agree on is also one of the most ignorant.

Irritated,  4:45 pm  

anyone have a copy of the bill.

the way bbc reported it, I'm surprised the catholic church in nigeria supported it 'wholeheartedly' as that would be against the catechism of the church

and sugabelly please, if you asked those kids how they feel about two guys/girls getting married and playing mommy and daddy, they would probably say it was gross. I'm not saying thats okay but nigeria is heteronormative society. If someone asked you to come and eat a cat, you would be grossed out too.

the rest of you sound like ekaette whatsherface.

Anonymous,  5:18 pm  

If the Naija rumour mill is to be believed(and it should), a couple of these pols and their godpapas are fags and d gist has been circulating since IBB's days in charge. So why all this moral high grounding?
D rep who sponsored that bill is a 1st class joker. Na d thing wey Imo State people send am come do 4 Abuja be dis?
But even as one who doesn't dig gayness in all its ramifications, I still don't see d point of legislating upon what kind of sexual persuasions people choose to follow.
And using kids as props for gay bashing is nothing but GROSS.

Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay 6:05 pm  

It is important that Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender Nigerians are provided with laws that seek to protect and preserve our rights, the majority of citizens dont always speak for minorities, it is the private business of same gender partners and this has nothing to do with Sodom and Gomorrah. Homosexuality is not a Western importation to Nigeria, Homophobia, the unreasonable hatred of gay people is the problem. We are in the age of enlightenment, it is such a shame that many ignorant and self righteous people with a doctrine of dogma and imposition feel they can rule. Gay sand Lesbians in Nigeria are citizens, thankful many are standing up and making their voices clear and we deserve the right to freedom and liberation to live our lives safely. Any law that discriminates leads to scape goating of innocent people, and any law that promotes hate and denies love is ridiculous. Using Children as a billboard for their campaign of ignorance show how shallow the Daughter of Sarah organiser are, I commend those who stood in Nigeria for the right of LGBT people.

Anonymous,  8:57 pm  

There is so much confusion and ignorance amongst the legislators. The idea that homosexuality is a western import is simply historical ignorance of many cultures/practices in Nigeria. The idea that it is against 'our culture' simply prompts the question, whose culture? Who is it who defines what culture is, and on what basis? These people have been brainwashed by imported faiths that have been put through a post-modern evangelical mangle. They are confused lost souls, clinging to a religion that originated in the Middle East 2,000 years ago.

When will Naija cease to be a spiritual and material import economy?

Anengiyefa 10:07 pm  

So is Christianity a part of African culture? The undeniable reality is that our true history has been lost and the history that we know is what the colonialists wanted us to know. The reports of homosexual practices in Africa encountered by early Western anthropologists, were filtered through the eyes of Europeans for whom homosexuality was at the time abhorrent. Therefore, what we see in the literature is an array of puritanical opinions, condemning the "heathen" for their "pagan" sexual practices, instead of an accurate record of what they observed. And because they succeeded in brainwashing our poeple almost completely, those traditions of homosexuality that existed have been almost totally erased from our memory and our history.

There is nothing African about the Christian clergymen in Nigeria, or what they represent. That they should dare to say that other African men and women are unAfrican simply becuse their sexual orientation is different from the majority is sheer stupidity.

Anonymous,  10:16 pm  

I was at the public hearing. All the arguments for the passing of the bill were based on religious grounds only. I wonder what the basis of their argument would have been if religion had been separated from the law? Of course, they try to say that homosexuality was un-African and a Western importation. We activists against the bill were successfully able to argue that it is in fact homophobia that is a Western import and that there is a long history of diverse sexualities and forms of marriage among different Nigerian cultures.

Although proponents of the bill admitted that Nigeria is a plural society, it is interesting to note that the grounds for passage of the bill was based on Christianity and not on Islam or any indigenous religion. All the different church groups in Nigeria were very well represented including the Catholic Church. The parliamentarians wanted to know if there were any representatives from the Islamic faith and no one came forward. Apparently, invitation letters were sent to them, but no one showed up. We might want to read their absence as the level of importance accorded to the issue. Does this mean that Christians were more troubled by homosexuality than Moslems?

What I find curious is that 95% of the sponsors for the bill are from the Christian South-South and South East. Does this mean that Christians have a monopoly on homophobia? What is going with masculinity in these two areas of the country that will result in a vitriolic homophobia will predominate? Is this a case of diminished masculinity? Or is that men from this community feel so oppressed within the large Nigerian society that they are in need of scapegoating?

When it was the turn of the house members to speak, nearly all of them said they will definitely vote in favour of the bill. One Dishonourable Dino Melaye stated the 3 years penalty was way too soft and that the penalty should be hanging. They all said that their constituency will want them to vote for the bill and if they didn’t their own masculinity would be in question. One of the activists against the bill said that in their haste to penalise same-sex relationship the parliamentarians might become victim to the very law they have enacted if their political opponents decides to accuse them of same-sex relationship. Certainly, there were indeed talks by a few people in the room who were aghast by Dino Melaye’s giving his own personal history.

There’s so much knowledge in the Nigerian same-sex community (and I use this as oppose to gay community ‘cause I am aware that in Nigerian, homosexual practice is not necessarily aligned with homosexual identity) about people in top positions including parliamentarians who were sitting on the panel. Perhaps it is high time they start outing them instead of the current reticence and the need to protect them.

Anonymous,  4:10 am  

maybe not

Anonymous,  9:20 am  

Not surprised to read these comments on naijablog. I may have briefly visited naijablog in the past, but when I saw one of the creators of this blog at the public hearing, I knew time had come for a real visit .

What surprises me is that I was caught off guard by the biased coverage that the media gave the hearing, and your selectively prejudiced representations nay, misrepresentations of the positions advanced by the christian community on same-sex marriage. I should never have been caught of guard.

To clear the air of misrepresentations, the submissions of various christian groups were based on faith, tradition and law. Daughters of Sarah that has come under thorough vilification from some of you wrote more copiously on Nigeria's obligations under domestic and international law. However, personally, I find the submissions of Christian groups on biblical positions more far more compelling, that God is the originator of sexuality and He demonstrated that by creating living things in sexual pairs, i.e. male and female for purposes of procreation. Very commonsensical. The genetalia of all mammals suggest that male and female sexes were designed to need and complement each other. It is amazing that sperm cells have male and female chromozones, and that the discharged sperm cell swims purposely through the cervix,womb and faloppian tubes in searh of only one thing - a discharged egg. Also amazing that it is only the sperm that the egg opens up to, and after that becomes impervious to any other sperm cell. That is God's creative purpose at work and it is this very clear Godly wisdom that the whole thing about homosexuality rejects.

For those of who claim that christianity is a western import, or that homosexuality is african, you've got some real research work in history to do. You need not claim sweeping statements than you can defend. Homosexuality is no more un-African or un-Nigerian for that matter than kleptomia among African leaders is. They are both socially unacceptable conducts,
historically and comtemporarily. The preponderence of opinions expressed at the hearing shows it remains unacceptable to Nigerians. Neither is Christianity un-African. It is in fact more African than it is European. Let's go down history lane, and mention a few early church fathers like Saint Augustine, Athanasius and a host of others. You say that was less than 2000 years ago, but do you forget that the Jews practiced their faith as freeborns and as slaves in Egypt, and that Egypt offers us a glimpse of one of the earliest demostrations of God's judgment against slavery and injustice? Again, you say that was judaism and I will tell you that the Christian faith admits no theological difference of substance between the old and new testaments.

Jesus predates Christianity as many have come to know it. He was there at the creation, there in Isreal's journey through the wilderness, there when Shedrack, Meshack and Abednego were thrown in the burning furnace and there at the most important place of all, golgotha, hung on a tree for his love for a sinful mankind he was determined to save. Read the bible with an unprejudiced mind if you really want to know. Jesus died for our sins, out of love, and His book (bible) tells me that homosexuality is one of the sins he died for. He expects that we return to him in repentance, forsaking whatever he calls sin. Sex, as Jesus intends it is for married heterosexual couples. Deny that and you are invariably saying God is "Homophobic" and does not know better.

Please do not betray ignorance any further by claiming the children who were at the public hearing do not understand the subject. In our sexually permisive society, it is meaningless to suggest children are ignorant, afterall, some of today's teenagers and adults were introduced to sex before they clocked 10. Besides, haven't I been hearing some of you liberals urging the teaching of sexuality in primary schools?

Concerned Nigerian

Anonymous,  12:35 pm  

Anonymous Concerned Nigerian whoever you are, I am not aware that anyone has claimed that homosexuality is African. The argument is that insofar as it is an occuence that it natural, it cannot be said to be unAfrican. Homosexuality occurs in nature, even in the animal kingdom. Let us not confuse the modern day gay lifestyle with homosexuality. They are not necessarily the same thing. The homosexuality that existed in Africa before the advent of Christianity and its homophobia, was starkly different from the gay lifetsyle that is predominant today. Human sexuality knows no geographical limitations and homosexuality has always been a part of human sexuality.

Judas lover of Jesus,  2:54 pm  

To Concerned Nigerian: Jesus was a Jew who died in his 30s - right? Is it normal that a 30 something year old jewish man of the time will go without a wife or a female lover? To my mind, Jesus could very well be gay. Then again, he could also have been heterosexual. That, we will never know. And perhaps the power of Jesus is the undecideability about his sexuality. He probably intended it to be so. He was a god of love not hate and intolerence. Please concerned Nigerians, please prove to me where in Jesus' teaching did he preached against homosexuality (btw the old testament won't do 'cause that was the very order Jesus was oppose to - so what you quote from the old testament doesn't count).

tyr,  6:39 am  

Muslim girls enjoy and practice anal sex because they are prohibited from having sex b4 marriage. The husband/elders in accordance with tradition always check before marriage to ensure the bride has not been defiled sexually. Hence why th christians are more homophobic. Muslim men from the north engage in anal sex from a very young age, like the girls - same goes for the Arab world. Anal sex is no big deal. And I guess thats why in Nigeria most of the fulani girls enjoy anal sex more especially if it is the only way she can reach an orgasm. With protection of course.

Anonymous,  12:39 pm  

Monsieur Anonymous, that homosexuality is African was the claim of gay activists at the public hearing. I was there and I heard them. But you try to put a smart twist on the argument by saying insofar as homosexuality is a natural occurrence, it cannot be said to be un-African. You either mean to redefine the word “natural”, or you do not know what it means. Look you closely at everything that breaths and you will get the answer you need – the bible says God has left us with a clear witness of his purposes by the things he created. Homosexuality is not natural. Did you say it happens in the animal kingdom? I did some biology and the only animal group where I know it happens is in the world of those homosapiens who make themselves believe they are homosexuals.
The guy who identifies himself as Judas wants to know if Jesus taught about sexuality. Here it is, straight from the New Testament - Mathew 19:4-6 “And He [Jesus] answered and said, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh….” Don’t be mistaken, Jesus said he did not come to annul the Old Testament but to fulfill it. Check this out – Mathew 5:17-18 “Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of the pen will by any means disappear from the law until everything is accomplished.” The law and the prophets make up the Old Testament. So there is no distinction of substance between the Old and New Testaments.
If you knew Jesus and understood His divinity, if you knew that He is God, you would be not be so irreverent as to impute such things as you do to Jesus. I couldn’t even quote you for such vulgarity. Jesus was no man. He is God and taking up the human form did not make Him lose His divinity. And He did so to save you and me from our sins. He came the first time in love and He will come the second time with love and a just reward for every act of obedience and disobedience. He says when we believe and accept his loving forgiveness, we escape his judgment. When we don’t, …….!!!!! It's your choice.

Concerned Nigerian

Waffarian 4:15 pm  

@Concerned Nigerian,

"Jesus predates Christianity as many have come to know it. He was there at the creation, there in Isreal's journey through the wilderness, there when Shedrack, Meshack and Abednego were thrown in the burning furnace and there at the most important place of all, golgotha, hung on a tree for his love for a sinful mankind he was determined to save. Read the bible with an unprejudiced mind if you really want to know. Jesus died for our sins, out of love, and His book (bible) tells me that homosexuality is one of the sins he died for. He expects that we return to him in repentance, forsaking whatever he calls sin. Sex, as Jesus intends it is for married heterosexual couples. Deny that and you are invariably saying God is "Homophobic" and does not know better".

You see this is where the problem lies. It is okay for YOU to use this as the mandate for YOUR life since you are christian and you are free to use this as the basis for YOUR own opinions.

You can not however, stuff this down our throats as a universal truth because there are millions of people(Nigerians) who are not christians. What you have written is a great sermon to be delivered at your church and to believers of the Christian faith.

Also, my problem with people using religion for arguments is that they never have their OWN opinions.One can never know what THEY think because most of time all they can give you are quotes from the Bible.I want to know what YOU think and not what Matthew, Peter or Paul says.

Having a discussion with Christians is like opening the Bible and talking to yourself. What is the point?

If you can not think for yourselves, then there is no need to have any discussion. Do you not trust your own intelligence? Do you not trust your own knowledge and common sense? Why must someone else tell you what to think, what to do and how to live your life?

Once again, let me emphasize that if that is what you have chosen for your life,(to follow the rules and regulations of a Holy Book)it is okay. Live your life in that way.

I, and millions of other people would like to think for ourselves and make our own decisions in life about many subjects, including homosexuality. I would like to trust my own judgement of what is right or wrong and not have you or any other person tell me what is good or not good for me in the society.

Let me live my life, let others live their lives and live your own life.

Judas lover of Jesus,  12:12 am  

Jesus was GAY. He gave up is virginity for his divinity and eventually he gave up his divinity to be with me. Yes, me Judas. It was only when we got caught that people could not believe that their own very embodiment of divinity could engage in intercourse with me. So they decided to frame me and started spreading the rummour that I betrayed him. I didn't! I told him that I would get the blame and no one would believe that he came to me in the thick of the night. He said no one will ever find out.

But Rigteous Paul and his came running to tell him about yet another new discovery. And there we were - Jesus and me in a loving embrace, actually not that loving. Jesus liked to fuck hard till I cry and bleed. Wimpering Paul messed it all up.

Jesus, I implore you to speak up now or forever hold your peace!

Anonymous,  2:03 am  

I commend the effort of gay rights activists in Nigeria. I am bisexual and have been thinking of returning home to Nigeria but my concern about the treatment of the LGBT community has been a factor keeping me back here. I however have a suggestion for the gay rights activists: it's important to make your campaign comprehensive from the onset-it's not enough to push gay marriage without ensuring that the rights of the bisexual sub community are also protected. It's crucial that we also have the right to marry both our male and female partners-it's who we are and we are tired of denying it-our victory won't be complete if all we achieve is the right of monogamous homosexual marriage. I for one have successfully balanced my relationship with both my girl and boy friend and it's important that i'm able to take our relationship further in marriage if i choose to. They both know my orientation and know each other and we all get together often enough-it's WHO I AM and i'm sick and tired of all these religious bigots and fundamentalists trying to sentence me to a lifestyle i haven't chosen for myself! Plesae help put the word out

adamu,  9:38 am  

Anon 2.03

The LGBT movement has never once put forward a case for same-sex marriage. This has come from the bigoted straight religious fundamentalists and angst driven law makers. Once of the arguments mounted at the public hearing is that no LGBT person has ever demanded legal soleminisation of their relationship. What is more important is a right to freedom of association and expression and for the constitution to decriminalise same-sex relationship. Surely once this takes place all alternate sexualities will beneficiaries. So your quibble is not with LGBT but the offending law and the general straight discourse surrounding our lives.

Anonymous,  3:54 pm  

I'm not sure what to make of your comment but you seem to be suggesting that a right to choose who i want to spend the rest of my life with is not even up for discussion right now.That's not very encouraging and I cannot understand why we should always lag behind the west on these issues. Why settle for the status quo and make decriminalisation the limit of our aspiration-what ameks heterosexual couples superior to a gay couple or to me and my partners? This is exactly the kind of mindset that might keep me from moving back to Nigeria! Lets be consistent-if we insist it's a fundamental right, then why not on marriage?

Anonymous,  6:01 am  

Whatever the arguments may be, I hope people realize that gay rights are not in the cards for the immediate future. The fact remains that we live in a country that is very religious(note I said religious!) Which is mostly against homosexuality. What I find very offensive is having to defend myself because of the acts of unscrupulous "christians" People are quick to scream "homophobic" to me because I and many others base our beliefs on the bible. This is where the division will always be.

Anengiyefa 4:47 pm  

Mr Concerned Nigerian, obviously you have done little reading on the subject of homosexuality, apart from hearing of what your Bible says about it. Nigeria is not a Christian nation, neither is it a Muslim state. Ours is a secular constitution therefore laws shoud be reasoned out on the basis of secular rationality and science, not on religion.

The fact that you're ignorant of the occurence of homosexuality in the animal kingdom is only an indication of the level of your knowledge and understanding, rather than a reflection of the truth. Just Google these words "homosexuality animal kingdom". You'll be astonished at the wealth of information available in the public domain on the subject.

Homosexuality is a small part of nature. Even those who brought the Bible to you and taught you what it says, have themselves accepted the truth. Free yourself from darkness and the ignorance that has our society in its grip. of course, the religions are keen to maintain a stranglehold of Nigerians. They have lost their foothold in the developed world an we have the largest population on the continent.

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