Gays In Nigeria Might Start Committing Suicide – Reverend Jide Macaulay

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Gay Reverend Jide Macaulay is the Founder and Project
Director of House Of Rainbow Fellowship. The man yesterday wrote to vanguard
where he said after President Jonathan singed the Same S*x Marriage Prohibition
Bill 2013 into law, he has been receiving so many calls, emails and online
messages expressing fear, anger, anxiety and suicide attempts.  Here is what he wrote to Vanguard.

On January 7th, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan signed the
Same S*x Marriage Prohibition Bill 2013 into law. The law bans same s*x
marriage, and through its wording, also seeks to criminalise people,
organisations and agencies who support homos*xuality and those who do not
immediately report any known homos*xuals, or homos*xual activities.
Since January12th, when the announcement was made, the
LGBT-community has been thrown into panic. There is chaos throughout Nigeria as
we are grappling with keeping up with mass arbitrary arrest, humiliation,
blackmail, extortion and police corruption in several ‘charge and bail’ cases.
The hostility in Nigeria against gay people has reached epic
proportions. In the East of Nigeria, many are fleeing their homes. One gay man,
labelled “a leader of the homos*xual” is on the run. His parents and brother
were threatened with arrest if they don’t provide information about his
whereabouts.
In the same region, more than six people were arrested. In
the West of the country, we can confirm that nearly ten people have been
arrested and bailed. The police have extorted funds from each victim at an
average of between $120 to $300. Most of the people arrested were tortured and
asked to provide additional details of other gays or lesbians. In the North of
Nigeria, in Bauchi and Kano, there are two separate cases of arrests and
harassment of gay people. Both areas are firmly under sharia law, which carries
the death penalty.
In the wake of the passing of the anti gay laws, there is no
doubt of the many calls, emails and online messages we have received,
expressing fear, anger, anxiety and suicide attempts. This is a critical time
for all LGBTI-people; a time when our ideals are being stretched and tested.
The Nigerian President and legislators have ignored the
critical aspect of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and passed into
law a legislation that is unjust.
In a BBC Radio program yesterday, I spoke out to condemn
this law. However, a few of the speakers claimed that a research showed that
98% of Nigerians are happy and jubilant about this law, and based on their
religious beliefs that homos*xuality is “unafrican”, against religion and
unnatural.
Nigeria like many African nations, has many issues and the
oppression of LGBT-citizens is largely unwelcomed by an already marginalised
group. We are now looking into our first priority intervention to help those
displaced and or attacked.
In view of the present situation in Nigeria, we are helping
with emergency evacuation to safe homes around the country. The Initiative for
Equal Rights (TIERs), a Human Rights Organisation in Nigeria, has now opened a
24hr support line for LGBT-people in Nigeria.
We also continue to advise all LGBT-people to stay away from
trouble, not pick unknown phone numbers and sign off gay dating websites.

Reverend Jide Macaulay, Founder and Project Director of
House Of Rainbow Fellowship.

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