No Right To Force The Legalization Of Same-Sex Union By Hannatu Musawa

Hannatu Musawa
Columnist: 
Hannatu Musawa

The signing of the Same-sex Prohibition Act by President Jonathan on January 7 2014, elicited negative reactions from Western countries such as the US, member countries of the European Union and Canada. They have consistently mounted pressure on the federal government over the president’s signing of the Same-Sex Prohibition Act 2014, claiming that the law is a violation of the fundamental human rights of Nigerians with same sex orientation.

Notably, the law does not only criminalize same-sex marriage, it also makes public displays of affection and even socializing in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inter-sex community illegal. The US ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle threatened that his country would scale down its support for HIV/AIDS and anti-malaria programs in response to government’s position on the gay rights issue. The Vanguard also reported that they learnt the US is committing “substantial” resources to fund the emergence of gay clubs and advocacy groups in Nigeria. The Canadian government canceled a planned state visit by President Jonathan scheduled for next month. The Canadian government’s action is believed to be that country’s reaction to the president’s assenting to the bill, which has so far enjoyed popular support in Nigeria.

Since 2011, certain Western countries have been considering and implementing laws that limit or prohibit general budget support to countries that restrict the rights of homosexuals. Regardless of this, many African countries have continued to refuse pressure to legalize homosexual practices. Many African leaders feel that gay rights are against Africa’s culture and religious value systems and believe that they have the sovereign right to reject what is seen as an imposition by Western nations that attempts to affect national sentiments via aid. While I vehemently disagree with the laws that impose the death penalty on those who come out as homosexuals, the reality is that same sex acts are illegal in about 38 African countries and actual enforcement varies widely and punishment ranges from prison sentences to the Draconian sentence of the death penalty.

In Mauritania, Sudan and Nigeria, homosexuality is a serious punishable crime. In Uganda, Tanzania and Sierra Leone, offenders can receive life imprisonment for homosexual acts. South Africa’s constitution is the most liberal towards gays and lesbians within the continent, with a constitution that guarantees gay and lesbian rights and legal same sex marriage. However, even there, gay rights have been described as an “exclusive privilege of the whites and well-heeled, a small but high-profile subset.”

The raucousness from Western nations that has been accompanying the banning of same sex unions in some parts of Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia has risen to a crescendo. And in their bid to ram the freedom of same sex unions down the throat of more traditional and conservative nations, the west has discarded high-minded rhetoric for bullying tactics dressed in the guise of human rights mantras. The result? Hypocrisy has taken center stage as the preferred response of the west in their bid to redefine the limits of marriage, privacy and religious freedom in some African, Eastern European and Asian countries.

The hypocrisy of the west regarding their stance on the banning of same sex unions is most apparent when considered next to the position taken on polygamy under western laws. In most western nations, the practice of polygamy is not only frowned upon but has been criminalized. The hypocrisy and bully politics of the west in regards to the banning of same sex unions occurs when Western countries pass laws that limits the boundaries of marriage, privacy and religious freedom in line with their value system while they employ strategies and tactics to intimidate, harass, undermine, threaten and abuse other countries for doing the same.

In the case of Reynolds vs. United States, the American courts declined accepting polygamy as a legitimate religious practice, dismissing it as "almost exclusively a feature of the life of Asiatic and African people." While that particular case is very old, in later decisions, American courts have declared polygamy to be "a blot on our civilization" and compared it to human sacrifice and "a return to barbarism."

In all the countries that have banned homosexual unions, traditions and religion defines the issue and because most countries have varying values of which they adhere to and are guided by, none should have a right to impose their value system on another. Not only is the practice of polygamy one of the common threads between Christians, Jews and Muslims, studies have found polygamy present in 78% of the world's cultures. In the same way that countries that accept polygamy have no right to force western nations to legalize polygamy, western nations have no right to impose same sex unions on the countries that ban it.

As a sovereign nation, Nigeria has a right to ban same sex unions in the same way the west has banned polygamy. Indeed the anti-gay legislation is a reaffirmation of core Nigerian values, as the Nigerian society is, to a great extent, based on respect for traditions and religion. The leadership in Nigeria has taken a position on a practice that is alien to its culture and its religious and traditional institutions. The public relations officer of the northern Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) stated that Christians and their counterparts in other religions have unanimously expressed gratitude to the president and National Assembly for passing the Anti Same-Sex Marriage law, despite opposition from Europe and the US. Similarly, the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State, commended the president for signing the bill into law. The group applauded the president for standing his ground, despite pressure to reject the anti-gay bill by some international organizations and foreign countries.

In line with traditions that don’t prohibit same sex unions, neither of the two dominant religions of the world supports homosexuality. In the scriptures, marriage is a sacred contract between a man and a woman that cannot be redefined and it is the cornerstone of family life. In the Bible, passages in the book of Leviticus prohibit homosexuality. Chapter 18:22 states, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Similarly, chapter 20:13 also states, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Jews and Christians have historically interpreted these two verses as the clear prohibition of homosexual acts. Furthermore, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah has historically been interpreted as condemning homosexual acts.

In Islam, the traditional schools of Islamic law based on Qur’anic verses and hadith consider homosexual acts a punishable crime and a sin. The Qur’an cites the story of the “people of Lot” (also known as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah), destroyed by the wrath of God, because they engaged in “lustful” carnal acts between men. The Qur’an contains seven references to the people of Lot; 7:80-84, 11:77-83, 21:74, 22:43, 26:165-175, 27:56-59 and 29:27-33, and their destruction by Allah is associated explicitly with their sexual practices.

In 2012, the Nigerian parliament approved a bill banning same sex marriage despite threats from the US and UK that they would consider withholding aid if the country didn’t recognize gay rights. Curiously though in the US, 17 states out of 50 (less than half) have endorsed same-sex practices and others reject its legality. This means that even in the US, not all its citizens are in support of same-sex practices.

Nigeria and the countries that have banned same sex unions have cultures that are clear and intact and they have a right to rededicate themselves to their traditional values. Same-sex marriage is inconsistent with Nigerian values of procreation and the belief in the continuity of family and clan. And in that vein, Nigeria has a right to fashion its laws in accordance with its values and traditions.

It increasingly seems that the Western countries’ mandate is to coerce African states to institutionalize behavior systems that they frown upon or deem illegal. There is the urgent need for these African states and the Nigerian leadership not to be dependent on foreign assistance for governance. Nigeria and the continent should use its net worth to dismantle the entrenched dependence syndrome and to also say no, no matter how many times they are accused of not adhering to the value system of the West. Aid given with strings attached is not worth it. Nigeria should not lose its moral and spiritual integrity for the sake of aid.

Just like with polygamists in Western countries, a day of social acceptance is unlikely to come for homosexuals in Nigeria and most African and Asian countries. It is unlikely that any law will be passed in Nigeria where the act of same sex marriage will be legalized. No matter, the rights of every nation to infuse its value system into its laws should not be based on the views of other nations, but on each nations individual principle.

Despite one’s view on the subject matter, there is no doubt that Nigeria has a right to enact laws that are reflective of its traditions and religious values and norms. No country has a right to dictate another countries laws that defines the boundaries of marriage, privacy and religious freedom. Thus, just as Nigeria has no right to harass America, Canada or any other nation to enforce and adopt polygamy and other traditional practices into their statutes, these nations also have no right to harass Nigeria to adopt laws that legalize homosexuality. The more the West continues to malign Nigeria for passing laws that prohibit certain modern western value systems, while they hold onto laws that disallow traditional practices acceptable in Nigeria, their hue and cry over human rights becomes a little more than hype and they become much more than hypocrites. May each country be free to preserve the value systems they wish to be defined by and adopt the laws of which they wish to be governed.

Article Written by Hannatu Musawa

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Human Right is not Government Property

As the great Fela sang "Human Rights Na my property" our human rights are derived from God that created us to be free and be who we are, as long as we do not cross the boundary of affecting another persons rights. Gay are who they are and no government or majority can take the their freedom to be who they are away. We have not learned our lesson from the root cause of most conflicts in the world including in our country, that deprivation of justices to a group by authorities or their agents eventually leads to violent reaction by the oppressed group. People will eventually fight back to survive.
It is shameful that the author created a straw man's argument of gay union as the underline issue, when she cannot point to any group advocating for such in Nigeria before the passage of the demonic law.
Intolerance of gays is what's unafrican. People that are different have always been treated with respect by traditional African societies.

you need deliverance"

you need deliverance and i think you are one of those gays in nigeria but soon you risk 14 years imprisonment

Our leaders must pressure the West to criminalize homosexuality

It is high time leaders of african countries unit and speak out against this unfortunate homosexual thing. The same way the western world are lobbying to push it across Africa, african leaders should also be pressurizing the west to pass Anti-gay bills just like Nigeria and legalize polygamy. The west continue to dictate to us due to our Lackadaisical attitude of not pushing our own belief down their throat. if we wake up to this fact they will think twice and stop this bully approach.

Sapele Water not making sense

@Sapele water you know what read up the meaning of cognitive dissonance, if you understand it, 50% of your reasoning disability is solved.
So because a black slave shouted Allau akbar if true, that makes him Mohammed or founder of the religion or islam of African origin. And how Christianity started in Africa you failed to explain but we should take it as truth like clueless idiot that you are. I never knew Palestine is part of Africa. Maybe in your warped mind the missionaries who came with colonialist were Africans. For your information and others Coptic Christianity never spread outside Egypt and Ethiopia, Westerners spread the religion throughout most of black Africa.

Yinka you are the myopic idiot here

@Yinka maybe you have read too many books without understanding the content, both major religion has roots and bearing in Africa and with Africans. The first man to shout Allah akbar was a black slave, christianity started in Africa way back before the European importation, so where you get you misguided information about westerners spreading the religion I honestly don't know. All we Nigerian know is if you want to sleep with a man as a man you should go to England or USA or Europe or SA but if you come to Nigeria 14 years inside cooler is awaiting you and all your types.

Re: truth be told

I guess it's in the bid to curb adultery that most cultures permit polygamy....but come to think of it, which is a lesser evil: your parent(s) to commit adultery or both be gay/lesbian?

Re: Truth be told

@ mongo park, almost all ibibio/kalabari tribe see twin birth as a curse and the babies must be left to die in the evil forest and the mother needed cleansing. But with benefit of hindsight were they right? You need to step away from the myth and fixation of western culture and confront this a issue as a human being capable of independent thinking. if you are a christian homosexuality was mentioned from the beginning to the end, were those places in the west? I have no idea if was mentioned in the Koran, if yes such practices would have been observed in there area of influence which is hardly the west.
And from the sin angle why are our law makers not debating adultery and fornication which is destroying marriages and youth or a far larger scale? Do you feel same revulsion for adulterers as for feel for gays? Would it not be hypocrisy to target a small group and leave majority to keep wallowing in sin?

Truth be told 2

What Same-Sex Warriors refuse to understand is, almost the whole of the black continent sees it as an illness and alien to their culture. The president of Zimbabwe said anybody can be ill, but what he is against is when he keeps two married gay in a room for 10yrs and they fail to procreate. He’ll be behead them. Saudi Arabia passed same law, nobody questioned them. Russia had same and heaven did not fall. This law made Nigerians more united and stronger than you can ever imagine. Aid or no aid, we have been leaving without light, we have been drinking from well and malaria cannot do worse than it has already done. We will not even wait for the police to arrest you guys. Come to oshodi and claim your right. I have been expecting ‘Occupy Nigeria” to happen again when the law was passed. If the West wants to help their co-travelers out of this illness, offer them resident visas free of charge and have them integrated into your civilized society. God bless Nigeria

Truth be told

God created ADAM and EVE not ADAM and STEVE, even science cannot dispute that. God didn’t create man alone, or created two men and a woman. The dictionary defines marriage as something that has to do with opposite sex. Google search too concurred. So why are people crying wolf over the law? I asked Google, which male animal sleeps with another male animal? I still await the result. Is either they come to ur continent as tourist and tear up the anus of ur lazy youth with mouth watering promises, or we travel out in search of “greener pasture” to get our ass ravaged by civilization. One of them was recently deported out of Uganda. They said the West brought religion to Africa. Sebi JESUS CHRIST na western? Abi Muhammed?. I remember somewhere in the bible when Jesus was brought to Africa for fear of Herod in the West. God is always willing to forgive us but not when you tell Him your sins are your rights and the C of O to the house you own in Gomorrah or Sodom need not be revoked.

well done Hannatu.your

well done Hannatu.your write-up really inspired my admiration.you have delved into the issue from all sides and put forward balanced and unbiased arguments.however, some people's comments are informed by prejudice and preconception which hinder an objective judgement.Although Christianity and Islam were alien to African culture and tradition, they've both, over time, constituted an integral part of our value system and influenced our culture and tradition a great deal.So, it's seemingly impossible to divorce the world's two dominant religion from the entire African consciousness.It therefore appears somewhat awkward when some people faulted your mention of Christianity and Islam, as well as polygamy in buttressing your points.such criticism is in itself myopic and stereotypical.

Disappointed in Hanatu 2

What if our laws codify polygamy would it be right to have a section that says Hanatu will go to jail for associating with women group advocating against legalized polygamy? or our criminal laws include death penalty, would it be okay to prescribe jail term of 10 years for been part of a group against such punishment? In a democracy? Your article was written with very myopic and shallow thinking and worsened by quoting christian and islamic authorities, are these African culture? Did this same westerners not the ones who spread the religion in Africa. Are people gay only because they have traveled to the west or seen a western gay movie?

Disappointed in Hanatu

It is rather unfortunate you chose to use polygamy as a bulwark to argue the phobia against gays. I would have expected your enlightened voice against practice that make women subjects of men. And it seems the whole point is missed. Before this senseless law was passed was any country haranguing Nigeria to legalize same-sex marriage? Do the current laws acknowledge same sex marriage? If not what is the essence of this new law?

YES TO ANTI GAY LAW

Nigeria will remain the worst nightmare of GAY or Lesbianism practice because we have our tradition, custom, dignity and religion to protect. We will continue to reject and SAY NO to Gay and Lesbianism in Nigeria.

Nigeria is divided but not on gay issue

We can call each other names for the world to laugh at but when it comes to the issue that matters to us, Nigeria is one great united country on some common sense issues. We have passed a law and we will stand by it, no bullying and name calling will make us change our mind, so let them waste their time while we countinue to reorganise our nation away from their evil laws.

Gays nd lesbians.

No matter what,we are africans and religion minded.being gay nd lesbians is a termination of the human race which is against God's command of going into the world and procreate.loving God and obeyin his commandments should be our first priority.

Haba!!!!

Why are they disturbing us with this homo thing? lesbianism has always been with us ever since dormitory life was introduced in our educational system,at least 85% of all women who were boarders in our boarding schools practiced lesbianism or "supee" as they called it,as for men,it has always been only rumours especially from northern Nigeria but I can bet on it,not many Nigerians have seen a confirmed meeting a gay man one on one,so one wonders why it had to become an issue that will attract such swift response from our lawmakers, when did homosexuality become a problem for Nigeria? or was it homosexuality that is looting our resources or the reason for the incompetence in governance or is responsible for the brawl between Governor Amechi and Patience Jonathan?

hanatu is what we call curt

hanatu is what we call curt and nail writer-hardly ever makes sense in any of her watery articles

Reply to Bosede "For Anita" on Gays

This is what you said Bosede. "We want people like you who are obsessed with the anus (to the point where it's all homosexuality means to you) to be able to live your life without fear of persecution". If hetersexuals according to you are obsessed with anus, what are you homosexuals obsessed with ? It seems you are obsessed with the anus where excreta (shit) passes thru. You all use the money you have amassed to dig holes thru the anus of the male that plays the role of female. And the second male that plays the role of male then dips his thing into the artificially and surgically dug holes into the anus of the male that plays the role of female. In other words the "male" is dipping his thing into the passage of shit and excreta. This is what you homosexual people are obsessed with. It is sickly. Even animals do not do this. So this is for you Bosede on "For Anita" Anyway thank you Musawa Hannatu for a brilliant write up. May God bless your family.

Hannatu Musawa, Nice Try, More Information In Below Website!

The words of Jesus spoken about gay was not mentioned in your piece and that of the last Prophet Muhammad (SAW) If you guys want to gain more lights in what the Bible & Qu'ran say, please logon www.amazingmuslims.com. This website will give you in depth knowledge. The scriptures are right.

Gays and lesbians

Ommotayo, you are making sense.The west wants you to divorce one partner before marrying another. That is consistent with protecting the rights of the partner. We are quick to hinge every debate on the Arabic culture/religion and the Romans inspired religion. Since when did religions we embraced less than a century ago metamorphosed into our culture ? All these big big grammar speaking confusionists hsould stop misleading the largely not very smart Nigerians.

Gays and Lesbians

But gays drill holes through the anus of their partner in order to do it thru where shit passes!

Same Sex Union

Hmmmm...Gays and lesbians...I don't get it...their lifestyle is not sustainable...who should be producing their partners? They want to adopt children...who should produce their children? oh I see!...cloning and other scientific way of reproduction...doomsday is here. HETERO-HABITS is the strongest of all human instinct for survival and very secular by nature in keeping the specie alive.

Hmmmm...Gays and lesbians...I

Hmmmm...Gays and lesbians...I don't get it...their lifestyle is not sustainable...who should be producing their partners? They want to adopt children...who should produce their children? oh I see!...cloning and other scientific way of reproduction...doomsday is here. HETERO-HABITS is the strongest of all human instinct for survival and very secular by nature in keeping the specie alive.

Poor Uche

She makes no sense here at all. She just appeals to your bigotry and prejudices. Hannatou is disingenuous here, she;s pandering. Either that or she simply doesn't understand the issues well enough to be able to comment on them.

For Anita

'Polygamy is criminalized in many western countries as an offence of bigamy - despite its privacy inside anyone's homestead.' - AnitaFor a woman based in the UK, I am surprised that you haven't asked yourself why polygamy (legalised adultery) is illegal in these countries. Go and read some of the reports from East Africa and see how polygamy has contributed to the spread of HIV/ AIDS. And how about the psychological damage it does to women? From the perspective of a state, it's messy. Too many loose end, too many legal battles, women tucked away, rendering marriage vows meaningless. But this is not a competition about nation defying the soverignty of another. This is about people, human beings. We want people like you who are obsessed with the anus (to the point where it's all homosexuality means to you) to be able to live your life without fear of persecution. Sexual orientation should not be criminalised. And people who choose to associate with gays should be free to do so.

mumu liar-when did canada cancel visit of jonathan

Hear d mad boko haram woman-(The Canadian government canceled a planned state visit by President Jonathan scheduled for next month. The Canadian government’s action is believed to be that country’s reaction to the president’s assenting to the bill, which has so far enjoyed popular support in Nigeria.) unquote-
Response from Canada-(The Canadian Government has dismissed reports that it cancelled a planned visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the country.This clarification was made known by the Canadian Counsellor in Abuja, Ms Alexandra Mackenzie, in an interview with Punch. Mackenzie said that there was never a scheduled visit of Mr. Jonathan to the country in the first place. So why the lies from Fulani--hanatu

F0R THE FIRST TIME HANNATU MAKES ANY SENSE

I usually do not agree with most of things Hannatu says, but this time, she's right.

true talk

true talk

Et tu, Hannatu?

It really hurts, but after following you for so long, I have now lost all respect for you. Tis a sad day indeed.

Gays and Lesbians (2)

Gays and lesbian should be left alone and be protected. Biology plays a major roll in who you are in terms of the sexes. Yes, the West even tell us how important roads, schools, infant mortality rate, health, hunger, food production, air safety, good governance, impact of crime in our society is,diseases eradication and they even tell use how to organize our country. What about all the criminal activities taking place in Nigeria right now? Is it acceptable to stone a female to death just because she had sex? Is it okay to treat women as slaves in Nigeria? Or on the other hand, is it morally right to steal the people's commonwealth with impunity? Now why are we worried about what grown ups want to do in their bedrooms? It does not in any way disturbs anybody else. There is something wrong with the Africans----- foolishness and the inability to think.

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