Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Should same-sex marriage be allowed in Nigeria?

By Taiwo Olanrewaju
Nigerian Tribune
Tuesday 15th May, 2007

HOMOSEXUALITY has always been in existence from time immemorial, but was rarely an issue to generate public reactions especially in Nigeria until recently. It started generating impulse for the first time in Nigeria a few years ago when a Gay Bishop was to be consecrated within the Anglican Communion in the United States of America (USA). The bulk of old generation Christians in Nigeria belongs to the orthodox setting of which Anglican is a prominent sect, therefore elite Christians who wield influence in the society are many in the Anglican Church of Nigeria.

The issues bordering on same-sex marriage and Gay priests were stiffly opposed by the church authority. This eventually led to the break-away of many African Anglican Churches from the world order, dissociating selves from same-sex marriage which they classified as unholy and ungodly, unfit for existence.

Subsequently, when homosexuality in South Africa became a public issue and many gays and lesbians came out to assert their rights, their counterparts in Nigeria became more confident, but before they knew, a bill had been passed criminalising same-sex relationship. All these notwithstanding, one can’t rule out the fact that homosexuality is very much among us, and those that practise it want to be heard. Speaking with some members of the public, the question the Nigerian Tribune put across was: Should gays and lesbians be given freedom to marry (same-sex marriage) in Nigeria?

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