As I have discussed in BarkingShaman previously, one of my roles in Tashlin is to monitor news, weather, and international affairs for information that I feel is relevant to who we are and what we do. As I have also indicated on this blog, I feel that the United States and the world are entering into what could prove to be a very difficult and scary time. The Crazy Years as they were prophesied in Robert A. Heinlein in his famous Future History.
I have been told time and time again, maybe by some of you reading this blog, that I was looking for enemies where there weren’t any and that I was allowing a persecution complex to make mountains out of molehills.
Read this article and tell me if I am crazy to be afraid. Before thinking that this has nothing to do with us because it is happening in another part of the world, please note that the majority of the churches that have broken their ties with the Episcopalian Church in the U.S. have allied themselves with the Anglican Church of Nigeria, the country this article is about. In fact, the head of Nigeria’s Anglican Church strongly pushed for and supports the law discussed by the article. By extension we can assume that the members of the American churches that have chosen to place themselves under his leadership feel the same way.
Ordinarily I would just post a link today I will reprint the entire article:
Posted: January 18, 2007 – 5:00 pm ET
(Lagos) Legislation that would strip gays and lesbians of all civil rights has passed its final hurdle and is set for a vote in Nigeria’s Parliament.
The bill started out as a ban on same-sex marriage and has been revised to make it a crime for more than two gay people to be in the same venue at the same time.
It prohibits LGBT social or civil rights groups from forming. It would be illegal to sell or rent property to same-sex couples, watch a gay film or video, visit an LGBT web site, or express same-sex love in a letter to one’s partner.
The legislation goes so far as to make it a criminal offense to impart information of HIV/AIDS to gays or for non-gays to meet with any group of gays for any purpose.
The penalty would be five years in prison with hard labor.
Gay sex already is illegal in Nigeria with sentences up to 14 years behind bars. In the mostly Islamic north homosexuality can be punishable by death.
Last year it became a crime for same-sex Nigerian couples to travel abroad to marry.
“Nigeria seems certain to legislate one of the world’s most sweeping and repressive anti-gay laws, unless international pressure is bought to bear on the Nigerian government,” said Peter Tatchell of the London-based LGBT human rights group OutRage which has been monitoring the situation in Nigeria.
“The bill outlaws almost every expression, affirmation and celebration of gay identity and sexuality, and prohibits the provision of sympathetic advice and welfare support to lesbians and gay men,” Tachell said.
The new bill has the support of Nigeria’s Anglican Church, and its leader Archbishop Peter Akinola who has been at the forefront of opposing gay clergy in the denomination. Conservative Anglican churches in the US have aligned themselves with Akinola.
Impetus for the legislation followed the legalization of same-sex marriage in South Africa.
Last year Zimbabwe passed the “sexual deviancy” law making it a criminal offense for two people of the same sex to hold hands, hug, or kiss.