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Nigeria: Why the West keeps its hands off

Stephen Lovatt speaks on the latest No Strings podcast.
Stephen Lovatt speaks on the latest No Strings podcast.

Why don’t Western countries use their economic clout to push Nigeria to repeal the harsh anti-gay law it enacted last year?

That’s an issue addressed in the latest interview on the No Strings podcast, which provides a voice for the LGBTI community in  Nigeria.

The situation in Nigeria differs from that in Uganda, where economic pressure from the United States is apparently one reason why legislators haven’t reintroduced the Anti-Homosexuality Law that was invalidated last year on procedural grounds.

Why is that so? Author Stephen Lovatt, a gay Catholic physicist from the United Kingdom, discusses that question in the latest No Strings podcast. He suggests that Nigeria’s own economic importance makes Western nations reluctant to tangle with it.

Cover of the book "Faithful to the Truth: How to Be an Orthodox Gay Catholic" by Stephen Lovatt.
Cover of the book “Faithful to the Truth: How to be an orthodox gay Catholic” by Stephen Lovatt.

“The USA and EU are not making a good job of engaging productively with Africa or Asia economically and/or financially and they will be wary of further compromising their prospects of profiting from trade and/or investment,” Lovatt says.

Another reason: “Fear of being castigated as being ‘Imperialist’ and imposing ‘Western values’ on African or Asian peoples.”

“Speaking Out, Gaining Courage and Overcoming Fear” is the title of this episode of the podcast, which can be downloaded or streamed. It is also on the new No Strings podcast website.

Lovatt’s book “Faithful to the Truth” is sold by Amazon in paperback and in an electronic edition for Kindle readers.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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