Thursday, May 17, 2007

Davis Mac-Iyalla: Changing Attitudes About Gays & Lesbians in Nigeria

Persecuted Gay Nigerian To Speak In Rochester

Davis Mac-Iyalla will be speaking in Rochester, NY, on June 22nd, 7 pm, at St. Luke and St. Simon Cyrene Episcopal Church, 17 South Fitzhugh Street. Mac-Iyalla is the Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria, a witness of gay and lesbian Anglicans in Nigeria.

Mac-Iyalla made headlines in 2005—including the New York Times and the Times of London—for organizing the first support group for gay and lesbian Anglicans in Nigeria. He has been a target of Archbishop Peter Akinola's wrath ever since. Akinola is a leading proponent of a draconian bill in the Nigerian Parliament that would provide five years imprisonment to anyone who "goes through the ceremony of marriage with a person of the same sex," helps or supports a same sex marriage, or "is involved in the registration of gay clubs, societies and organizations, sustenance, procession or meetings, publicity and public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly in public and in private."

Since founding the organization in 2005, Mac-Iyalla has been repeatedly denounced by the Anglican Church of Nigeria and has received several death threats. Mac-Iyalla was forced to flee Nigeria and now lives in exile elsewhere in Africa. Nevertheless, Mac-Iyalla traveled to a meeting of Anglican archbishops in Tanzania in February, walked up to Akinola, and offered his hand.

Mac-Iyalla is traveling across the United States this summer to tell his story. Mac-Iyalla's local visit is co-sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester’s Committee for Gay & Lesbian Ministry [] and the Leadings Institute for Spiritual Formation & Leadership Development []. An offering will be taken during the speaking engagement to support the ministry of Changing Attitude Nigeria.

For more information, contact John Clinton Bradley at 585-242-7687 or

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