Nigerian church support for sodomy laws: The Church of England Newspaper, February 21, 2014 March 20, 2014Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Nigeria, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue, Marriage.
Tags: gay marriage, Ignatius Kaigama, Nicholas Okoh
Faith leaders in Nigeria have unanimously applauded the revisions to the country’s sodomy law, and have denounced as imperialist, racist and condescending Western pressure to change the country’s attitude towards homosexuality.
Leaders of the Muslim community as well as the head of the country’s Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches applauded President Goodluck Jonathan for signing a law banning same-sex marriage, gay clubs and public displays of same-sex affection into law on 7 January 2014.
While overseas Catholic and Anglican leaders including the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have expressed reservations about the new law, their Nigerian counterparts have endorsed the ban on gay marriage.
In an open letter written to President Jonathan published by the Catholic News Service of Nigeria, the press arm of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama called the new law “a bold and clear indication of the ability of our great country to stand up for the protection of the highest values of the Nigerian and African cultures around the ‘ institution of marriage and the dignity of the human person, without giving in to international pressure to promote unethical practices of homosexual unions and other related vices. ”
The Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh stated his church also opposed the introduction of gay marriage into Nigeria. In a speech given at a banquet honouring retired Archbishop Peter Akinola, Archbishop Okoh was reported to have said the underlying issue was not homosexuality itself, but man’s rebellion against God’s law.
“Many people do not realise that what is referred to as the homosexual trouble is not the homosexual or lesbian trouble but people’s refusal to accept the Scripture for what it is, authority for life and practice following God.”
“In the beginning, man questioned the authority of God in the garden by saying did God actually say that you should not eat the forbidden fruit. That challenge to God’s authority dethroned God’s power and enthroned man’s power. So they concluded that God has no right to tell man what to do and that they were the people who knew what to do. So man set God aside and took over the command. Consequently, disaster followed,” he said according to Channels TV in Lagos.
The question for Nigeria was not merely government sanction for sexual sin, but the decision Adam and Eve faced in the Garden of Eden to defy God, he argued.
The controversy over gay rights and gay marriage in Nigeria has also been played out in the national legislatures of Uganda, Tanzania and Cameroon which are in the process of adopting laws banning gay marriage.
Both Nigerian prelates were sharply critical of overseas political pressure to adopt Western sexual mores.
Archbishop Kaigama thanked President Jonathan for his “brave and wise decision” to sign the bill into law and prayed that God would protect his “administration against the conspiracy of the developed world to make our country and continent as a dumping ground for the promotion of all the unethical practices, that destroy God’s plan for man.”