Nigerian Senate Moves To Ban Gay Marriage

The Nigerian senate is moving to ban gay marriage as well as discourage any allies of the Nigerian LGBTQIA community. According to Nigeria’s Daily Times, all the senators participating in the ‘debate’ took the same stand. That gay marriage is wrong, both morally and spiritually.

“We as a country need to act very fast for this trend not to find its way into our country,” said Obende [the bill’s sponsor]. “Same sex marriage cannot be allowed on moral and religious grounds. The Muslim religion forbids it. Christianity forbids it and the African traditional religion forbids it. It should not be allowed because it will lead to a breakdown of the society.”

To make it worse:

Penal Codes in Nigeria already prohibit same sex marriages or carnal knowledge against natural order in Nigeria. Homosexuality can land men up to 14 years in prison in the South and capital punishment for men in areas under Sharia Islamic Law.

The bill prescribes three years imprisonment for couples convicted of same sex marriage and five years for any person that witnesses, abets and aides the solemnisation of same sex marriages.

Another unfortunate blow against collective LGBTQIA rights in Africa.

Cool Links via Forbes: The 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa

Forbes has complied 20 youngest power women in Africa all under age 45, who wield enormous influence in African business, technology, policy and media all across the board from South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania e.t.c. They are change makers, trendsetters, visionaries and thinkers, builders, and young global leaders. They are at the vanguard of Africa’s imminent socio-economic revolution and its contemporary renaissance.  Read more

Ugandan MPs Walk Out In Protest of The Kill The Gays Bill

Further continuing to defy western expectations that us poor oppressed marginalized people of color aren’t possessive of our agency, Ugandan female members of parliament staged a walk in explicit protest of the anti-homosexuality bill. Colorlines via AP reports that the bill is due for a special hearing today.

Bahati’s original bill would mandate a death sentence for active homosexuals living with HIV or in cases of same-sex rape. “Serial offenders” also would face capital punishment. Anyone convicted of a homosexual act would face life imprisonment.

Anyone who “aids, abets, counsels or procures another to engage of acts of homosexuality” would face seven years in prison. Landlords who rent rooms or homes to homosexuals also could get seven years.

If the bill is picked up by the next session, some, all or none of those provision could change during parliament negotiations.

CNN reports that the State Departments official position is condemnation of the bill:

The State Department Thursday condemned a proposed bill in the Ugandan parliament that could make engaging in homosexual acts a capital offense punishable by death. The bill may be debated Friday by the Ugandan parliament.

“No amendments, no changes, would justify the passage of this odious bill,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters. “Both (President Barack Obama) and (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) publicly said it is inconsistent with universal human rights standards and obligations.”

[…]

The State Department says the current bill appeared on the parliament’s agenda Wednesday but lawmakers adjourned without debating it. The parliament plans to reconvene Friday, but Toner said it is not clear whether the bill will be debated or whether an amended bill still contains the death penalty.

Meanwhile the original author of the bill, and prime proponent of the proposal, David Bahati, continues to be a bigot in the most spectacular of ways, referring to homosexuals as victims in need of care.

Slutwalk Tehran Isn’t What You Think

We all knew this would happen, appropriation and misuse of a positive movement is usually inevitable when it becomes big enough. Flags went up when this was posted on their facebook page though I would say was wary when I saw that it was a project helmed by two men:

Thank you for all your comments and questions! Slutwalk Teheran [sic] does not encourage the women of Iran to participate owing to the ever-present threat of reprisals by the antiquated patriarchy of that Islamic Republic. What we are encouraging is for ever grrrrl from the US, Canada, Sud America, Europe and Oceania to swoop down on Azadi Square and RECLAIM the term “slut”! Spread the word!!

Victimization and cultural encroachment bingo, standard.

A great response directly to them by Tiara:

how’s Iranian immigration/visa systems like? It’s hard enough getting visas on a Bangladesh passport tho the Muslim country thing may be a bonus. Also wouldn’t the idea of having mostly foreigners protest be seen as “foreign entities enroaching on local culture” (and therefore offensive and self-defeating) rather than empowering for the local women? Iranian women have plenty of strength and energy and courage – it’s not up to us outsiders to *save* them, just *support* them when they ask.

Who went on to say on her own blog:

I’m sure there are plenty of Iranian women who can work out how to make SlutWalk locally-relevant and make it work for themselves while also protecting themselves from harm. I think the fact that this particular branch of the event is run by a guy means that there’s quite a bit of gender-privilege-denial here – the only folk he’s talking to on Facebook are Western.

Then it turned out that it may have all been a troll or scam:

His idea of SlutWalk is, rather than get the Iranian women involved (for their “Safety”), he wants all the foreign chicks to come over and stage a protest there.

But really, there is a message in all of this, How Not To Organize A Slutwalk. No, really.

OK LISTEN. There is NO WAY this is going to work UNLESS you engage with the Iranian people. You can’t just pick and choose a random city, specifically state that you WON’T engage with the locals there, ask people to just arrive on a random date and time, and expect things to go well. This is neo-imperialism. This is imposing your values on others. Not only will this fail, it will fail HORRIBLY, and the people that will suffer the most are the very same Iranian women you’re supposedly trying to protect. Not to mention that events like these take time and planning and effort; it’s not just a matter of “pick a time and date, tada!”

The only way for this to work is for the Iranian women to be a CORE COMPONENT in SlutWalk. Right now you’re treating them as weaklings that need saving and it shows. Your heart may be in the right place, but this is causing more harm than good. MASSIVE harm. You basically don’t know what you’re doing.

Reconsider, stop, and give control of this event to the Iranian women. Let them decide if, when, and how they’ll do SlutWalk. In the meantime, STAY OUT OF IT – this is NOT your battle to fight. Go support other people’s SlutWalks if you like, go support your local rape support centers, but don’t start one in a culture, place, identity alien to you until you’ve received the support and welcome of the local people and you know what you’re doing.

Major props to Tiara for engaging and deconstructing this mess.

-EDITED to correct names

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