For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 at 7:00 p.m., Davis Mac-Iyalla, will speak at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson Street, New York. Admission is free.
Mr. Mac-Iyalla is the founder of Changing Attitude Nigeria, an organization working for human rights and the full inclusion of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered) people in the Anglican Church of Nigeria. As such, he has been plunged right into the middle of a major social conflict in Nigeria. Mr. Mac-Iyalla has suffered ostracism from family and friends, been denied communion by his church, been fired from his job as a school principal and has faced death threats.
A law proposed by the Nigerian government, with the support of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, would ban any association of gay people. Under that law, a person attending a meeting of gay people or even the socializing of gay friends in a private house could receive a sentence of five years in prison. Engaging in homosexual acts is already illegal in Nigeria, punishable in the predominantly Christian south by imprisonment and in the predominantly Muslim north by death.
Mr. Mac-Iyalla is visiting the United States and the United Kingdom to bring the situation of the Nigerian LGBT community to the attention of both church and civil rights leaders.
The Reverend Caroline Stacey, Rector of the Church of St Luke in the Fields, says of Davis Mac-Iyalla:
"Through Mac-Iyalla's experience, we witness the frontlines of the struggle for justice and equality in a culture both different from and similar to our own. In both cultures, the Bible has been used as an instrument of oppression as well as liberation, and continues to be used as a weapon. In both cultures, the church can collude in oppression by siding with those in power. In both cultures, fear of structural societal change can hijack a gospel of radical equality and dilute the church's witness. The church needs to have the courage to be "out" about the gospel - and that includes the full equality of all of God's people. Making room for others at the table does not mean those already seated will be deprived, and it transforms human community. Mac-Iyalla's courageous example emboldens us to go and do likewise."
7:00 p.m., June 20, 2007, the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson Street at Christopher, Greenwich Village, New York. Admission is free but contributions will be welcomed to support Mr. Mac-Iyalla's work. A reception will follow.
For more information contact:
Reverend Mary Foulke