The Pink Triangle Trust

News Release – 19 January 2009

Humanists Protest about Religious-Based Anti-Gay Legislation in Nigeria

Kenilworth, 19 January 2009 — Humanists in Nigeria have condemned the vote by the country’s House of Representatives banning same-sex marriage.

The Bill “for an Act to prohibit marriage between persons of the same gender, solemnization of same and other matters related therewith” has been passed unanimously by the Lower House of the country’s Parliament.

All the members who spoke in favour of the Bill condemned such marriage, saying that it was immoral, against African tradition and God’s design for human beings. One noted that this was a sign of moral decadence in any given society and went against God’s purpose of creating the institution of marriage. He stressed that such acts as stated in both the Islamic and Christian religions were ungodly. Another member argued “it is against my faith to have same-sex marriage. It is against our penal code to even engage in activities between man and man, as well as woman and woman. It is time for us to think back and look at the scourge of HIV/AIDS. The greatest means of transmitting this disease is through the act of sodomy.”

Leo Igwe, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Humanist Movement, issued a public statement saying: “This vote is a step backward for Nigeria’s democracy and a breach of the nation’s human rights obligations. Banning gay marriage will increase homophobia and attacks on lesbian and gay people. It will undermine Nigeria’s efforts to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS, especially among gays.

“At a time when many civilised nations are taking measures to abolish all forms of discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation, we humanists call on President Musa Yar’Adua not to sign this oppressive and retrogressive bill into law.”

The secretary of the UK gay humanist charity the Pink Triangle Trust, George Broadhead, said: “This is not the first time Leo Igwe has spoken out so courageously against his country’s anti-gay legislation and the humanist position is in sharp contrast to the overwhelming support it receives from religious sources, notably the head of Nigeria’s Anglican Church, Archbishop Peter Akinola, who has notoriously described gays as ‘lower than dogs’”.

Further information from George Broadhead on 01926 858450.
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Created : Sunday, 2009-01-19 / Last updated : Wednesday, 2009-01-28
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