Why the gay lobby failed in Nigeria, By Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú

Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú

In the last two decades, I have modified my views on homosexuality; from outright antagonism to polite indifference. I remained in the empty vast land of no bother, until the Nigerian Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act was signed into law on January 7. In this country, it is now a crime to have a meeting of gays, to operate or go to a gay club, society or organization.

Under the new law, “A person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies or organizations, or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years.” Also, anyone convicted of entering into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union faces up to 14-year imprisonment.

Even though I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman, I do not support the violation of human rights under any pretense. This law abrogates the constitutional rights of certain Nigerians to freedom of assembly, association, and expression. It is also a violation of international protocols to which Nigeria is a party. Are we going to look the other way because we loathe their otherness?

Despite the pockets of support the gay lobby enjoys, we must acknowledge that the Nigerian gay lobby overreached itself on the gay agenda. They imported the pressure tactic that worked very well in Europe and America to Nigeria and they deserve the rotten egg thrown on their faces. America did not become tolerant of gays “by fire by force”, it was gradual. America’s intolerance of homosexuality melted away gradually and turned the corner when the 81million strong millennials (children born between 1982-2002) who don’t care a hoot about anyone’s sexual preference started coming of age.

By contrast, Nigerians are deeply religious and very conservative. In this country, Christians and Muslims are given to traditional mores that teaches homosexuality as an evil that should be punishable by death. The Pew Research Center in a survey of 39 nations established that Nigerians are the least tolerant of gays. 98 percent of the respondents surveyed agreed that society must reject homosexuality. Given the disposition of this ultra majority against homosexuality, was it wise to push the gay agenda in such a wholesale imitation of the American gay coalition method? It is prudent to understand history and appreciate how long it took America with all its democratic structures to become more tolerant of gays.

Even as a firm believer in mankind’s inalienable right to free expression, association and belief; I feel “one kind” if I see Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender(LGBT) people holding hands. I confess I haven’t seen them kissing even in the United States except in pictures and movies and I still feel “one kind” when I am confronted with such scenes. In spite of my unresolved emotions, I can no longer be indifferent if homosexuals are getting killed and imprisoned for “crimes” without victims. My earliest views like many others on homosexuality are shaped by religion and inherent repulsiveness in humans when confronted with a remarkable otherness. Nigeria being what it is, we must not fold our hands and watch people get arrested, lynched or killed for being gay while ritual murderers and looters who deserve to be hanged roam free. We must reject the violation of anyone’s right of expression and association and we must not support it. It is an open secret that many influential Nigerians are gay or bisexual. This law will not catch rich people. Those who will suffer the punishments under this law are the poor gays, the unknowns. The big cahunas can have sex in posh hotels, well-appointed apartments in posh neighborhoods without any bother from law enforcement.

Going forward, the gay lobby in Nigeria will be better served using the “little by little” approach and refrain from the argument that homosexuality is an orientation that people are born with like hair and eye colour. It will hold no water for Nigerians. Nigerians do not believe in Darwinian or nebulous scientific logic. Nigerians will tout their holy books far better than any American Christian Right fanatic would. I also believe the genetic line of argument defeats the cause of LGBT people the world over because it embraces the implication that since people are born gay, it is normal and morally acceptable. The problem with using the genetic argument is that whatever tendency we might be born with must be considered normal. This “normal” includes serial murder, stealing, lying, hate, covetousness, pedophilia, addiction, rape and so on. As a consequence, there are two holes in the genetic basis argument. One, if sexual “orientation” is inherited, monozygotic twins (identical twins who share the exact same genetic information) should exhibit the highest correlation for same-sex preference while half siblings and unrelated siblings should have the lowest. Unfortunately the sampled universe of research data has shown no remote significant correlation in several studies that has been undertaken. Instead, studies established that if same-sex erotic preference has a genetic component at all, it is overwhelmed by other factors “in specific and circumscribed social structures.” In like manner, one can argue that since homosexuality does not produce offspring, one would think the homosexual genetic component in the human genome would die off. It hasn’t happened yet.

Second, if being born gay means homosexuality is morally acceptable, one can argue that homophobia must also be morally acceptable as an “orientation”. After all heterosexuality and its accompanying homophobia, where expressed, has more claim to genetic basis because heterosexual behavior produces offspring that transmits the homophobic genetic code while homosexual behavior do not.

Will it be acceptable then if heterosexuals argue in favour of homophobia as an “orientation” that is genetic, if they tout it as normal behavior, insist that it is not subject to disapproval, argue that homophobia must have civil rights protection and given prominence as acceptable behavior in schools and in the media? Will it be okay if straight people label homosexuals who accuse them of being homophobic as heterphobes? Should pedophiles, who consort with young boys, be considered as having a legitimate sexual “orientation” with its accompanying moral propriety? If no, is it not duplicitous to say only homosexual attraction is genetic and morally good while pedophilia is not? If so, why the double standard?

My position is that it is barbaric to imprison or stone anyone to death for his or her sexual preference. It is wrong. It is bad. Where is our humanity? This self-righteous zeal in punishing homosexuals especially in the North where the Sharia law and the penal code has failed to rid the society of Dan Daodu’s who have been openly gay in Northern Nigeria for ages is misplaced.

Some of the lawmakers who voted in favour of the Gay bill are active but closeted homosexuals. They do not want to be seen as part of the LGBT crowd. We must accept that it is not every sexual act that has a reproductive function even among heterosexuals. Why should we care about what consenting adults do within the confines of their bedroom? My opinion is that we as a thinking, feeling and responsible people should appreciate that homosexuality is an otherness that is the reality for some people. We would do well within the confines of our moral imagination not to violate their fundamental rights as human beings because of who they choose to sleep with. Thank you!

Twitter: @olufunmilayo

Email: olufunmilayo @ gmail.com


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  • JPeron

    Asking for your rights, or even pushing for them is not the problem, refusing to grant them, or worse, as in the case, is the problem. Nigeria has proven it will not uphold human rights and is unworthy to sit at the table with nations that do.

    • LoveJesus

      Human rights. Ask the millions of native Americans killed by the barbaric invading Europeans. Ask the millions black Americans that are incarcerated in American prisons. Ask them about how their ancestors were tortured, terrorized and abused as slaves. Ask them about human rights. If you sitll have time, then take a boat ride to Guantanamo to ask those there? Or to Abu Ghirab

    • busqet

      I guess its fair to ask for the right of those who ,engage in pedophilia, they should be allowed to have a “good life” with our underage , necrophilia should be allowed under the law as well as bestiality! All these groups of individuals should have their right guaranteed under the amorphous human right law.
      In any society , the minority will have there say while majority will its way.
      Before Europeans and american will harrass us to accept gay right, let them allow polygamous marriages, the French should allow purdah, they should allow mosque near ground zero.

      • fiki

        Whilst I loathe the idea of the permissibility of same-sex union, I must point out a glaring logical flaw in your contribution, to wit; in the cases of pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia, the ‘victims’ are incapable of granting consent under the law. With homosexuality however, both parties grant equal consent to what is nonetheless a despicable act by natural and moral standards.
        Having said that, we must not cave in to the absolutism of consensual activity. For if two persons were to agree to hack themselves to death, must the law sanction such a clearly depraved act? I think not. Or indeed, as with the raging argument about euthanasia (mercy killing), does the granting of consent of the willing ‘killee’ absolve the compliant doctor of liability for murder? Surely to sanction such behaviour is the beginning of the end for the human race as we know it.

        • Aragonsky

          No-one is caving into any ‘absolutism of consensuality’. You wouldn’t allow two people to hack each other to death. Why? Because violence and murder are against the law. Relationships, however, are not against the law. So consensuality on those issues is fine. It would not lead to mutual hackings and other such scenarios.
          As for euthnasia, there are all sorts of other concerns and practicalities surrounding that issue…. concerns that do not exist in the case of homosexuality (although homophobes will try to claim otherwise).

          • Benbella

            Violence and murder were legitimate in the Wild West of USA years ago.until laws were made to make it illegal.u could shoot a man dead in the streets for jus lookin at u wrong.my point is,a laws was made to outlaw killing.also,a law is being made now.obey it.

          • fiki

            You say that “relationships, however, are not against the law”. This is a simplistic assertion which cannot stand rigorous scrutiny. What is the zenith of the expression of the relationship between partners? Marriage. Is marriage against the law? Yes, in certain instances. Bigamy for instance is a crime. So also polyandry.
            When you describe people who do not agree with you as ‘homophobes’ (as a function of the bullying and scare-mongering tactics adopted by your ilk), you inadvertently encroach on our rights to believe what we will.
            On a final note, law, according to the positivists, is the enactment of a sovereign. Thus, the position of Nigerian law on the subject is well-settled and is beyond debate at this juncture. Let us not continue to split hairs over a done deal. Migration to more tolerant climes seems to be the only respite for homosexuals now. By the way, I have always wondered, why do homosexuals pattern their relationships after the conventional types? Why is there a man and ‘woman’? Why do they practice an act that will have ensured their non-existence if practised by their forebears??

          • Aragonsky

            You claim it is simplistic to assert that ‘relationships are not against the law’. But you deliberately forget the context in which I said it: you had tried comparing the ‘consensuality’ of homosexuals two that of people hacking each other to death. One involves relationships while the other involves murder. That is why societies that grant gay rights don’t grant people the right to murder one another: one activity is harmful while the other isn’t. But instead of returning to that argument and defending it, you spin off on an evasive tangent about polyandry and bigamy. You’re a poor polemicist.

            Calling someone a ‘homophobe’ is not a scaremongering tactic, nor is it a bullying word. ‘Homophobe’ has a specific meaning, i.e. “fear of homosexuality”. That describes you perfectly, does it not?

            As for Nigerian law, all laws are subject to scrutiny and debate. That is what democracy and free speech are about.

            You say that “migration to tolerant climes” is the only respite. Well, such migration has been the only respite for millions of us Nigerians who have been denied a whole manner of basic human rights by intolerant and incompetent governing regimes. This anti-gay law is symptomatic of a deep malaise in how Nigerian governments treat their citizens.

            And finally, you wonder why “there is a man and a woman” in gay relationships? LOL, that is the most laughable question I’ve heard in a long time. Are you so ignorant that you have to draw on false cliches? Are you going to pretend you know gay people well enough to actually verify those cliches? I wear skirts, and my partner wears skirts too. There’s no ‘man-woman’ dynamic in our relationship. If gay people appear to want relationships and marriage it’s because that is a basic human desire, and we are human beings. Simple. We’re not ‘trying to be like heterosexuals’.

            You remind me of a racist white person who has to constantly make up lies about black people in order to justify their prejudice (calling us stupid, laughing at our rubber lips and claiming that we are inclined towards violence, etc). You’re exactly like those people. It’s so sad and undignified. It goes to show that prejudice of all kinds will remain on this earth as long as people with your mindset exist.

          • Aragonsky

            You claim it is simplistic to assert that ‘relationships are not against the law’. But you deliberately forget the context in which I said it: you had tried comparing the ‘consensuality’ of homosexuals two that of people hacking each other to death. One involves monogamous relationships (healthy) while the other involves murder. But instead of returning to that argument and defending it, you spin off on an evasive tangent about polyandry and bigamy. You’re a poor polemicist.

            Calling someone a ‘homophobe’ is not a scaremongering tactic, nor is it a bullying word. ‘Homophobe’ has a specific meaning, i.e. “fear of homosexuality”. That describes you perfectly, does it not?

            As for Nigerian law, all laws are subject to scrutiny and debate. That is what democracy and free speech are about.

            And finally, you wonder why “there is a man and a woman” in gay relationships? LOL, that is the most laughable question I’ve heard in a long time. Are you so ignorant that you have to draw on false cliches? Are you going to pretend you know gay people well enough to actually verify those cliches? I wear skirts, and my partner wears skirts too. There’s no ‘man-woman’ dynamic in our relationship. If gay people appear to want relationships and marriage it’s because that is a basic human desire, and we are human beings. Simple. We’re not ‘trying to be like heterosexuals’.

            It’s so sad and undignified to see you constantly make up lies in order to justify your prejudice.

    • DeeT

      The LGBT community moved from being tolerated to eventual acceptance in the west. In other to deter them from pushing their luck further this law proscribing such unions by nigerians through their elected representatives is a right step in the right direction. When there is no law there is no offence

  • LoveJesus

    I feel this…I think this….The laws of the Almighty Creator and Unique Lord is not subjectable to the mere wishes and thinking of a created mortal like me and you. We are meant to submit to His Will and Dictates living our lives they way He – the Creator and not you- the created- feels or thinks. Irrespective of whether you are American or American educated. If your mother married another woman, how could your father have fathered you. The gay movement is evil and it is being chocolate covered to make it look attractive and fool others

    They really deserve more than rotten eggs. Really

  • Aragonskaya

    You say there is a ‘double standard’, when we reject men who prey on boys but accept homosexuals. What about the paedophiles who prey on underage girls? They are heterosexuals. Should we therefore ‘ban’ heterosexuals so as to avoid any ‘double standard’? Stop comparing paedophilia with homosexuality. It’s one of several arguments in this article that won’t wash. Homosexuality is natural to a minority of people in every population on earth. They pose no harm to society, and therefore cannot and should never be compared to murderers or paedophiles, etc.

  • Yemisi Ilesanmi

    You wrote “They imported the pressure tactic that worked
    very well in Europe and America to Nigeria and they deserve the rotten egg
    thrown on their faces.” – You seem to be blissfully unaware or just
    hypocritically chose to ignore the fact that it was a jobless senator who had
    nothing better to do that submitted the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition bill.
    Nigerian gays, lesbians, bisexuals and Trans were going about their normal
    business, trying to survive in a homophobic society when your lawmakers decided
    to focus attention on gays by proposing a 14 year imprisonment for same sex relationships.

    You should at least get your facts right. Anyone who is attacked
    has every right to defend themselves. Contrary to your claim that Nigerian
    LGBTS imported “pressure tactic’, if anything Nigerian LGBTS based at home
    decided to take the SILENT lobby approach to thwart the law. It still got them
    14 years imprisonment.

    BTW, It is very inhuman of you to say an oppressed group of
    people deserves the rotten eggs thrown at them. What a callous, inhuman statement
    to make, and in public too!

  • Yemisi Ilesanmi

    You wrote- “Given the disposition of this ultra majority
    against homosexuality, was it wise to push the gay agenda in such a wholesale
    imitation of the American gay coalition method?” – What gay agenda? Did the
    Nigerian LGBT go knocking on the National assembly floor to ask for the right
    to marry? You really should stop trying to find fault where there is none.

    You wrote – “Going forward, the gay lobby in Nigeria will be
    better served using the “little by little” approach and refrain from the
    argument that homosexuality is an orientation that people are born with like
    hair and eye colour. It will hold no water for Nigerians. Nigerians do not
    believe in Darwinian or nebulous scientific logic.”

    Why should Nigerian LGBT refrain from stating the very obvious
    science fact that homosexuality is a sexual orientation. Sexual orientation
    includes heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and asexuality. The fact
    that some people are ignorant of this fact does not make it less true. If Nigerians
    wish to believe that the planet earth is flat instead of spherical, it is still
    not a reason to imprison or violate the rights of people who state the science
    fact that planet earth is not flat but spherical. Ignorance and unwillingness
    to accept fact is not an excuse to deny anyone their fundamental human right. Science
    does not need anyone to believe or have faith in it before it works.

  • Yemisi Ilesanmi

    You wrote – “The problem with using the genetic argument is
    that whatever tendency we might be born with must be considered normal. This
    “normal” includes serial murder, stealing, lying, hate, covetousness,
    pedophilia, addiction, rape and so on.”
    You must be kidding to make this comparison because you are just drawing at straws that any
    intellectual should be ashamed to be associated with. For one, ‘normal or the
    concept of ‘Normativity’ is a social construct. What is normal today might not necessarily
    be normal tomorrow. For example, killing of twins , female genital mutilation
    and denying women the right to own land were once considered ‘Normal’ in many
    African societies. Today, these are considered ‘Abnormal’.

    You claim “This “normal” includes serial murder, stealing,
    lying, hate, covetousness, pedophilia, addiction, rape and so on:” So, are you
    saying only Homosexuals engage in this so called ‘normal ‘ things you listed? How
    could you even compare rape or pedophilia to homosexuality? Are you truly not
    able to make the distinction between acts that causes harm to others and
    consensual adult same sex relationship that does not cause harm to anyone or
    the society?

    You wrote – “Second, if being born gay means homosexuality
    is morally acceptable, one can argue that homophobia must also be morally
    acceptable as an “orientation”.- You really do not know the meaning of sexual orientation.
    I suggest you educate yourself on ths before making such ridiculous statement.

    • Tobi Austin

      “Are you truly not able to make the distinction between acts that causes harm to others and consensual adult same sex relationship that does not cause harm to anyone or the society?” I wouldn’t know if “causing harm” can only be physical. For your information some orientation cause emotional harm whose effects can be as if not more profound that the physical harm. You should know that the real harm to a rape victim is less of physical nature than it is of emotional.

      • Aragonskaya

        Can you please outline precisely what harm homosexuality causes society? (and base it on empirical evidence – no fabrications, thanks).

        • Tobi Austin

          Who on the defense here? Am not gay, am a scientist and I hold that gayness is not and cannot be explained in genetic terms. No evolutionary theory posit that a gene can exit for no purpose. Sexuality and sexual orientation are primarily for procreation. I have not seen any evidence of gayness in any other primate. Genes do not jump on a species, they evolve.

          • Aragonsky

            a) You’re the one on the defence as you have avoided answering my question about how homosexuality harms society. Do you have an answer to the question??
            b) You’re not a scientist. You don’t analyse this subject matter in a remotely scientific way. To deny homosexuality in humans on the basis that it does not occur in other primate species is laughable. Other primates lack a gene for speech. Does that mean humans therefore have no speech? LOL. And if you were the scientist you claim to be, you would know that genes evolve through mutation, i.e. the sudden appearance of a new type of gene.
            c) Scientists have not found a single gene for intelligence, yet intelligence has a clear, congenital root. The absence of a single gene doesn’t make a trait non-genetic. You would know these basic facts if you were a true scientist. You’re struggling to justify your antithesis towards homosexuality.

          • Tobi Austin

            I really don’t know how to address the myriad of disjoints you have presented. I am not an anti-gay. I am not gay. I am saying such behaviour cannot be explained genetically. Period. Whether am a scientist or not cannot be an issue for discussion. It can only distract. For indeed am a geneticist! It is the genetic aspect of the gay hoopla am contributing to at social level not at abstract science level. By the way there is communication among animals, speech is just a type of communication. Evolution is therefore of communication in animals, not of speech (language) which itself is not genetic. On the harmfulness of being gay. The body of proof is on those who say it has no harm.

          • Aragonsky

            There are no ‘disjoints’ in my argument. You are anti-gay because you previously suggested that orientation can cause emotional harm.

            No other scientists have made any conclusions about the genetic origins of homosexuality, so your unilateral declaration is rather meaningless and unscientific.

            Your ‘communications’ argument is bizarrely disjointed and makes no sense, not even grammatically.
            Did I say there is no communication between animals? No. I said apes lack ‘speech’, which is a highly specific and evolved form of communication, quite separate from barking or echo-location, etc.
            There is a strong genetic basis for the ability to form words. Geneticists (real ones, not charlatans like yourself) strongly suspect a link between the GDF6 gene and the ability to speak.

            The burden of proof about the harms of homosexuality actually rests on you. But you place the burden on me because you have no answers. Take any negative social phenomenon and ask yourself whether gay people caused it. Malnutrition? Corruption? Sexual abuse of women and girls? Environmental destruction? Terrorism? Fraudulent church pastors? Global warming? Nope on all counts. Keep trying.

          • Tobi Austin

            I wrote:”I wouldn’t know if “causing harm” can only be physical. For your information some orientation cause emotional harm whose effects can be as if not more profound that the physical harm.” I never said gays can cause harm. “You should know that the real harm to a rape victim is less of physical nature than it is of emotional.” You can put your argument forward without intimidation like ‘(real ones, not charlatans like yourself). Your comments lack a depersonalized approach and that is understandable. I’ll rather discuss with such real scientists. Thanks for deeming it fit to respond to my comments.

          • Aragonsky

            You say that “some orientation can cause emotional harm”. But you never elaborate or expand on that point. It’s all rather evasive. If you are not referring to homosexuality, then what ‘orientation’ are you referring to? You have anti-gay views but you are not willing/able to back them up with any coherent argument (Btw, I work for a science magazine, and have never encountered a geneticist who gives responses as inarticulate and uninformative as yours).

            You say, “Thanks for deeming it fit to respond to my comments.”
            I respond to your comments not because they are fit for response but because ignorance must be fought with enlightenment and intelligence. Your gratitude is misplaced, I’m afraid.

            Thanks for avoiding all my previous questions – it demonstrates the weakness of your arguments 🙂

  • Yemisi Ilesanmi

    You wrote “If no, is it not duplicitous to say only homosexual attraction is genetic and morally good while pedophilia is not? If so, why the double standard?”

    Homosexuality is not a slippery slope to rape, pedophilia or bestiality. There is no justifiable reason to compare a violent, non consensual act that inflicts harm on its victim to
    consensual same-sex adult relationships. Rape is the act of forcing someone
    into having sex without consent; it is a sexual assault, in most cases a
    violent act. Pedophilia is the act of having sexual intercourse with a child,
    an underage cannot give consent. Bestiality is the practice of sex between
    humans and non-human animals; it is inter-species, also animals cannot give consent.
    Same sex relationships on the other hand are emotional, sexual relationships
    between consenting adults of the same-sex.

    A homosexual or bisexual who is attracted to same sex does not cause harm to
    anyone or the society. Same sex lovers do not harm anyone with their relationship so far it is consensual adultrelationship. Non-harmful lifestyle of adults should not be criminalized.
    Criminalizing a person for their sexual orientation is basically the same as criminalizing a person for their skin colour, sex, or for being left-handed.

    In all honesty, I think Nigerian LGBTs are better off with knowing who their real enemies are than to think that they have a human right friend who actually is a two faced person who pretends to support their rights but claim they deserve the rotten eggs thrown at them. Who
    needs enemies when you have such friends! Please don’t spread ignorance. Ignorance
    leads to hate, hate leads to fear and fear leads to violence. No one dersves to be discriminated against, hounded and imprisonemed for being in a consensual adult relationship. And asserting your fundamental human rights should never be a crime. LGBT righst are Human rights. If you truly believe in inalienable human rights, you wouldn’t say anyone regarless of their sex, gender, religion, class or sexual orientation, deserves to have their right taken away. Unless you are saying lesbians, gays , bisexuals and Transsexuals are less than human and therefore needs to BEG for their human rights rather than demand it?

  • Kulikuli

    Dear dear Bamidele, this is what happens when you try to hard to pander to those Bible-touting morons you mentioned. You are not courageous enough to take a stand. You fall into a bit of a trap and get your knickers in a twist. You want to come across as reasonable yet you think people fighting for gay rights should have eggs thrown in their faces. Whether or not it’s just alluding to an idiom, the sheer violation and violence in your advice is heart-breaking. How could you even say that?

    Listen, not only does the constitution state that exactly what a marriage is, not on gay couple asked for a marriage licence. Not one. So ask yourself, madam, why do we have an anti same-sex law? Why? What have the gays in Nigeria ever asked for. Even when they when to the NASS to speak, they were not given an opportunity to talk. They were heckled, scorned, dismissed.

    Does the fact that “It will hold no water for Nigerians” make it any lass true? When did that become the criteria for wanting your human rights to be respected. You surprise me yet you don’t. You are uncomfortable with people being lunched? DOn’t worry, when and if it happens, their blood will be on your hands too.

    Get your facts right about the nature/ nurture argument. Or read Binyavanga Wainaina’s piece. Don’t be so arrogant in your ignorance. I hate it when straight people are so smug when discussing LGBT issues.

  • F Young

    “Those who will suffer the punishments under this law are the poor gays, the unknowns.”

    Thanks for taking a courageous stand for human rights, Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú, but I should point out that the above quote is misleadingly incomplete.

    In every society, heterosexual people are equally victimized by anti-homosexual laws. For example, research shows that about half of pupils who are bullied for homosexuality in schools in Canada are actually heterosexuals who are misperceived to be homosexual. We have also seen a trial in Uganda where a group of pastors deliberately falsely accused a competing pastor of being a homosexual so as ruin in. This has also happenned to politicians in more than one country.

    Conversely, recent Canadian reasearch also shows that when schools adopt policies against anti-gay bullying, suicides and binge drinking diminish among male heterosexual students as well. It appears that promoting respect for unpopular minorities promotes respect for everyone.

    This again illustrates that whenever a society deems it acceptable to oppress one minority, all minorities are put at risk, and even some members of the majority. It is indeed a slippery slope once you decide than not everybody is equal in dignity and human rights. As Rev Niemoller so eloquently stated, speaking of the Nazis and the Holocaust:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Again, thanks for speaking out, Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú.

    Today is a black day. Today, Feb 15, mobs attacked several gay men in Abuja. Some in the mob shouted, “We are working for Jonathan!” The police later joined in the violence. As I said, today is a tragic day for Nigeria.

    After the mobs have rounded up all the gays (and heterosexuals mistaken to be gay), who will they round up next?

    May God have mercy on Jonathan, and the Nigerians who support him.