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. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, and editor/publisher of Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

2 Comments

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  1. Personally(!) I would advice against a march in the streets, simply because of fear for violence towards those marching, by public as well as police and government supported/endorsed anti-gay militias!
    On the other hand, when there be enough people around the participatns of such a march, it would make a huge statement to as well the public as the authorities, nationally and internationally!
    Such a march would be a sign of extreme power, and when participants would be coming from all kinds of areas of the society, and as such recognisable, it would show that homosexuaity is present all around everyone in the whole community, not only at theatres, among “frearks”, hairdressers, well, the common stereotyped areas! When representatives of international orgs like International Human Rights Council, of (European) Embassies, of DSF would be present it would increase the power of such a Human March, or March4Equality! Just my opinion though!

  2. With the current situation, in the country, having a march will be unwise, the current president is a dictator, , the good news, is that the younger generation is more open minded to equality , but with sexism and religious extremism, still rampant, we
    still have a long way to go.

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