“We kill our children, or make them flee abroad, carrying all the blessings that God put in them for our own good.”
That’s the effect of Nigeria’s anti-gay law, according to Nnanna Ikpo, a Nigerian lawyer, storyteller and human rights activist.
In an interview with NoStrings, Ikpo spoke about many problems that the Nigerian Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act has generated for the country.
The law is a distraction from the many pressing issues that the country is struggling with — and worse, he said:
“The whole text is unconstitutional and undemocratic… [Because of it,] more of our children will fall prey to diseases, depression and death not just because of ignorance, but fear of reaching out for help or even accepting help when it finds them.”
“Nigeria should be weary of this law because it is not only a distraction from genuinely pressing state issues, it is a waste of our time and human resources. It is a waste of our lives and destruction of same. We kill our children, or make them flee abroad, carrying all the blessings that God put in them for our own good. We play God on the things that don’t stand in our way, and then become defenseless when we should fight.”
He also condemned the acts of mob justice carried out on suspected homosexuals in Nigeria:
“The law criminalizes the public show of same-sex amorous relationships. If this means anything at all, then what are the police and ‘holy-mob members’ doing in the bedrooms and private lives of tax-paying citizens of Nigeria. How exactly does private and discrete sexual gratification contend with the security situation in our neighborhoods or the lack of employment?”
Nnanna rejected the longstanding claim that homosexuality is unAfrican:
“What is African or not is not a function of what people say or do not say, but a progressive and unbiased study of history’s facts….
“Homosexuality is as African as our diverse hair, skin colour, customs and fates. And no amount of policing can contend or combat this.”
Nnnana commended fellow activists for their efforts, but he also spoke about the issue of visibility for the LGBTIA+ community and the need for more voices to come on board to support the movement for equality. He said:
“We need an increased visible and audible representation of the LGBTIA+ spectrum, especially amongst the women, bisexuals, intersex, transgender and gender non-conformist strips of the spectrum. And we all need to join hands in changing the hearts of the society first, tugging at the negative narrative until it is completely destroyed.”
To listen to the full interview, visit NoStringsNG.com.
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