Canada acts, the UK folds, what will the US do?
By Cathy Kristofferson, January 19, 2014
Reports out of Nigeria claim that Canada has cancelled a planned state visit by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan that had been in the works for February.
Jonathan was due to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper but reports say “Canadian foreign ministry officials have told Dr Ojo Madueke, Nigeria’s high commission to Canada to inform President Jonathan that the state visit has been scrapped.”
Dr. Madueke was informed of the trip’s cancellation following media reports that Jonathan had signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill.
At news of the signing, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, issued a statement for the Canadian government saying:
“We call on Nigeria to repeal this law and to promote and protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Nigerians regardless of their sexual orientation. Canada has clearly spoken out against human rights violations committed against people on the basis of their sexuality, and we will continue to do so.”
Apparently, lack of repeal of this homophobic law has now caused the upcoming Nigerian state visit to Canada to be cancelled. We can only hope other countries follow suit in very high profile public displays of their disgust at this horrific law.
Sadly, we saw just the opposite from across the pond. The day after the Bill’s signing the UK announced they will increase foreign aid from £200 million to almost £270 million despite David Cameron warning Nigeria last year the UK would review its massive aid program if the country pressed ahead with legislation. On one hand an increase in aid is a fine thing for humanitarian concerns, but it was done with such reckless regard and stupidly ridiculous timing it showed just how meaningless Cameron’s previous warning truly was.
The LGBTI community of Nigeria needs more than hollow words from the international partners!
So what will the U.S. do I wonder. Secretary of State John Kerry has sent his own letter of dismay but will anything substantive follow? Or will Goodluck Jonathan realize that only a single trip to Canada will be the cost for unleashing horrific persecution upon the LGBTI community in his country? And other leaders currently pushing their own vile anti-gay agendas will see that there is still little to pay for throwing the gays under the bus.
Despite being named the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill, the legislation really calls for the prohibition of all things ‘gay’. Along with the 14 year prison sentence for entering into a same gender marriage, the law also prohibits with 10 year prison sentences anyone in Nigeria from participating in a gay marriage ceremony, anyone from supporting, forming, or participating in any organization, club, or society that in any way supports gay rights, and it prohibits any form of public display of same gender affection. It was not dubbed “Jail-All-The-Gays” Bill for no reason. It should be named Jail-All-The-Gays-And-All-Their-Allies actually. As we have already seen, the Muslim Nigerian States are imposing the law under Sharia courts where punishment for homosexuality is death by stoning.
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