I have just realized how draconian the proposed Nigerian executive bill banning gay marriage is. It not only prohibits gay marriage -which by the way no-one in Nigeria has demanded- (in what is described as a "pre-emptive step by the Minister of Information) but also "any form of protest to press for rights or recognition (for homosexuals)".
In addition, quoting the honourable Minister "it is an offence for anybody to contract a marriage or have a relationship with a person of the same sex.. If you do, it carries a sentence of five years imprisonment without the option of fine, and if you aid or support in any way, anybody of the same sex to contract a relationship or marriage, it will also attract five years imprisonment."
Surely this is a gross transgression of the rights to free speech and association and is going to open the floodgates for the most grotesque witchhunt. How on earth is "any form of protest", "aiding or supporting" or indeed "relationship" going to be interpreted? Two men or two women living together or sharing a bed as commonly happens in the chronically housing-deficient cities of Abuja and Lagos ? An article supporting equal rights for gay people? Could this post constitute a breach of these laws?
And all this from a president and ruling class whose appetite for all sorts of sexual shenanigans is legendary. The hypocrisy of it is stunning especially when members of the ruling class (and their children and step-children) are free to live as they like, leaving the common man and woman at the mercy of draconian rules like these.
Why do we refuse to accept that cultures are dynamic and that the way to shape them is to leave matters open for reasoned, intelligent debate? Why are we so afraid of debate? Plastic surgery, the internet, and embezzling communal funds are all un-African. Would that my president would exhibit similar zeal towards these "vices" as he has towards homosexuality!
A friend points out that these changes are probably being driven by the Anglican Church in Nigeria, horrified to discover gay members (whom they had always claimed did not exist) in their midst http://snipurl.com/lx21
Meanwhile, the whole debate has been causing sparks to fly on two Nigerian blogs- Black Looks http://snipurl.com/lx22 and Trae Days http://snipurl.com/lx24 with what appears to be a clear distinction in opinion between Nigerians living abroad and those living in Nigeria.........