Community, News, Politics

How Africans are responding to the Global Conversation on LGBT Rights

Last week, we reported that Theresa May told 53 leaders of various commonwealth states at their annual summit, that she “deeply regrets” the laws adding that it is is time to overhaul “outdated”, colonial-era legislation that treats members of the LGBT community as criminals.

This has increased the conversation regarding LGBT rights across the continent.

In Nigeria, members of the House of Representatives have stated that they are not going back on the law. According to The Sunday Punch, Majority House Leader Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila told them over email that he doubts Nigeria will reverse it’s stand on the issue. Chief Whip of the House, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa told them that Nigeria would rather face sanctions imposed by the West than revisit the same-sex law adding that “a country like Nigeria that is strictly guided by Islamic and Christian codes respectively will not contemplate this act of immorality no matter what global consequences we may have to face.”

However, it was revealed that is changes are the law are to be made, the President could seek the National Assembly’s position on the matter. The Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce said that “we will wait for the position of the President. If he wants to review it, he should transmit a letter to us, telling us that he is convinced about same-sex marriage. He should tell us his views, whether he is for it or against it.”

Still in Nigeria, The Christian Association of Nigeria is calling the UK’s stand on homosexuality satanic. In a statement made available to The  Punch,  CAN President, Pastor Bayo Oladeji said the fact that the British authorities or all countries of the world practise or allow gay marriage did not make it right, warning that any government that dared to make same-sex marriage lawful in Nigeria risked the wrath of God and the anger of all Christians and other Nigerians.

Meanwhile in Ghana, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Kingsford Sumana Bagbin also spoke out against the rights of LGBT people. In a report by GhanaWeb, the speaker condemned homosexuality in a radio interview saying, “homosexuality is worse than atomic bomb and so for that matter, there is no way we will accept it in country.” He urged that the country’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo should come out and condemn homosexuality.

Also Church of Pentecost Chairman in the country, Apostle Professor Opoku Onyinah expressed his displeasure on Joy News.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta also shared his views with CNN’s Christine Amanpour. He said that homosexuality is not an issue of human rights, but rather of “our own base as a culture” adding that 99% of Kenyans support laws criminalizing same-sex unions. Watch below

Also, some have gone on Twitter to express their thoughts on the issue

A new LGBT Global Acceptance Index by The Williams Institute ranks 141 countries on acceptance & inclusion of LGBT people. The study shows that acceptance is declining in Africa, Middle East, Russia & Eastern Europe. There is a lot of work to be done on the continent to educate and fight for the rights of LGBTIQ people so they can live freely in their countries.

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