New Year's optimism for threatened LGBT Nigerians

Nigerian LGBT rights activist Davis Mac-Iyalla contributed this New Year’s message at a time when the Nigerian Senate has voted for a harsh anti-gay bill and urged President Goodluck Jonathan to sign it into law:

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

I am feeling very positive that Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan might not signed the draconian Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill (the “Jail the Gays Bill”) into law. The only reason I am feeling positive is because President Jonathan is someone who believes in the human rights and dignity of all people.

I know our Anglican Church bishops and other religious leaders in Nigeria might try to lobby and mount pressures on him, some might even use the present political situation to try to deceive him into giving Nigerians what they want but in actually fact it’s what his detractors want. I don’t think he will succumb to such pressure. I want to enter the New Year praying for President Jonathan. He has a lot to do and only God’s grace, truth and justice can guide him to the right path. A man who knows abuse from power-drunk Nigerians will not join force to persecute others.

Let’s not forget that it was former president Obasanjo and retired Archbishop Akinola that originally brought the idea of prohibiting same-sex relationship in Nigeria with a new kind of law. Those haters of human rights are still navigating their ambitions and, thank God, President Jonathan will know better than fall into their trap.

President Jonathan believes in the human rights of everyone, which also includes the rights of LGBT Nigerians. Happy New Year and welcome to 2014.

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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