Nigerian activist: Is it time to march against anti-LGBT bias?

Nigerian human rights activist Samuel Uchenna has suggested that it may be time for public demonstrations by LGBTIQ+ Nigerians pushing back against the country’s anti-gay biases.

From the African Human Rights Media Network

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Sharing his thoughts on Twitter, the activist wrote: “Can/Should we organize a national march to demand the respect of our dignity as humans?”

Samuel Uchenna: “Can/should we organize a national march?” (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

LGBTQ+ Nigerians, allies and activists have never organized a physical gathering demanding repeal of the country’s harsh Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act (SSMPA), although many LGBTIQ+-focused organizations have been fighting hard against LGBTIQ+ discrimination and oppression in other ways.

In Nigeria, the anti-gay law, enacted in 2014, effectively criminalizes LGBTIQ+ persons, outlawing public displays of same-sex affection and any support of homosexuality. The law stipulates a 14-year prison sentence for homosexual acts involving either men or women and a 10-year jail sentence to gay organizations, and anyone supporting same-sex marriages, or any display of same-sex affection.

Online, some people warned that a march such as Uchenna suggested would be unsafe. But others stated that, although the idea scared them, they would join a public protest against anti-LGBTIQ+_bias.


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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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