Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Homophobia in Nigeria continued

Updated and republished Tuesday evening

While the General Synod meets, Political Spaghetti continues to report on the progress of the legislation that is officially supported by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).

daily episcopalian reports the latest development affecting gay Anglicans in Nigeria here:
Pray for Davis, and write to Lambeth.

In a later report, Matt Thompson tells us that:

The Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) just announced their public support of Peter Akinola in a press conference in Abuja, condemning any group that might wish to make same-sex marriage lawful in Nigeria.

And in an even more recent posting, he reports that

The Nigerian Senate is expected to vote on the legislation this Thursday (less than 48 hours from now). The Nigerian House is ready to vote as well.

and provides a long list of contacts in Nigeria, the USA, and the UK (including Lambeth Palace) for those who wish to express their concern.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 27 February 2007 at 10:45pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: News

Davis Mac-Iyala has returned to Nigeria and is now asking for help from TEC. His life is in danger.

Please read his latest e-mail and ask yourself why TEC should pursue communion with Akinola and his enabler, Rowan Williams.


Posted by: Mike in Texas on Tuesday, 27 February 2007 at 1:13pm GMT

A cross post from JN, by A. MacArthur:

Write to Lambeth??? Puh-lease, Rowan knows exactly what Akinola's up to.

Instead of writing missives to ancient palaces, the HOB ought to issue an appeal to Davis (along with a visa and a plane ticket) to join them for "urgent consultations" at Camp Allen.

The point is that Davis has to be gotten out of Nigeria, he is in personal danger, and regardless of the politics, get him out.

But he does have quite a story to tell the bishops of TEC, and he's every bit the man who can look them in the eye and tell them what their "brother" in Abuja is up to. This is a campaign of intimidation, scapegoating and threatened violence sponsored by the Anglican Church of Nigeria.

Second the motion for a HoB consultation invite, visa, plane ticket, but fast. Write to Rowan maybe at Lambeth just to let him know you see through his dodge, not because he can be presumed to be uninformed or out of the global loop on this one.

Posted by: drdanfee on Tuesday, 27 February 2007 at 5:30pm GMT

Just faxed a two page letter to Lambeth Palace, asking for help in calling Nigeria and Nigerian Anglicans to account for their sins on this one. I doubt that Canterbury actually cares, but people may always surprise us even when we do not particularly expect it. In any case, I think Rowan needs to know that we indeed see and hear him, all round, no?

Posted by: drdanfee on Tuesday, 27 February 2007 at 6:05pm GMT

FWIW, here's a portion of an e-mail I sent earlier today to Bishop Katharine's office. Got a quick response and assurance that the right people are looking into the matter:

"Soon after I was ordained, I became the Diocesan Refugee Coordinator for (my) Diocese. One of the things we DRCs learned is that a "well-counded fear of persecution" based on ethnicity, political belief/activity, etc. was the determining factor when it came to deciding who was a refugee, and who was not. Depending on the specifics of the anti-gay legislation that eventually becomes law in Nigeria, and given the apparently well-documented death threats against Davis Mac-Illaya, is it possible that TEC could lobby (through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and/or the US State Dept) for refugee status for GLBT Nigerians who might seek sanctuary abroad, either in this country or elsewhere?

Political realities being what they are , I am not optimistic about the success of any such effort, and the practical difficulties (would any GLBT Nigerian really want to take advantage of refugee status if available? What sort of documentation would be required?) would be formidable. My own refugee-related skils are rusty, and the specifics of the suggestion I am making are still hazy. And yet, after prayer, it seems possible that TEC's actively seeking refugee status for GLBT Nigerians might point to the new life, new hope and salvation that comes from Jesus Christ.

Of course, your colleagues in Episcopal Migration Ministries have probably already thought of this approach!"

Just wondering, might the CoE/Lambeth be willing to consider a similar effort? In any event, please keep this possibility in your prayers!

Posted by: beth mcnamara on Tuesday, 27 February 2007 at 8:43pm GMT

Judging from my memories of my Grandfather, I rather suspect Davis Mac-Iyalla is the last to want to leave his country or to think he has done anything at all...

... also dear old Ajax - extra thick boards, extra floating tanks and all - enjoys her well deserved rest on the bottom of the sea...

... not to say that I am too far away to rescue anybody out of Nigeria by sail and oar...

... but I think I just might be able to put aside a few quid this month, 200 perhaps 300, if God is mercyful...

... so if there's a collect in the near future Colin C. can contact me by mail via my blog.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 27 February 2007 at 9:36pm GMT

I want to second Goran's offer of assistance.

Posted by: Matt on Tuesday, 27 February 2007 at 10:53pm GMT

It is very difficult to deny reality...we are experiencing a gross human-rights violation and a grandstanding bid for oppression and thieving simultaneously at the Anglican Communion.

It's time for the ABC and ++Katharine to remove the cotton from their ears and shove it in their mouths.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Tuesday, 27 February 2007 at 11:35pm GMT

What an apt St David's Day present for Rowan Williams this new law will make.

Nobody can say they were not warned.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 27 February 2007 at 11:46pm GMT

So, come on - have some guts and get out of the CofE. Can't you see that they have nothing to offer us?

Posted by: Merseymike on Wednesday, 28 February 2007 at 12:00am GMT

As we all take what action we can to preserve Davis Mac-Iyalla's life and the lives of other GLBT Nigerians, I'd like to raise a question for our further reflection:

Could we in the Episcopal Church do more for them if we were no longer part of the Anglican Communion?

I think it's an open question, myself. What do you think?

Posted by: Charlotte on Wednesday, 28 February 2007 at 12:24am GMT


I liked your letter.

I find this a bit amusing. There was a big uproar in Australia a couple of years ago that sending Christians back to some countries was basically a death sentence (converted apostates). There was huge lobbying by the churches to protect these converts who could not help being what they were. The need for them to be able to live free of persecution and a genuine threat to their lives was trumpeted in lobby groups and within their own parishes.

Yet the irony is that now it is someone who is displeasing to them, they are silent.

Thus the issue is not that the laws are unjust, but that "their kind" are not attacked.

At the moment I feel like a mother who has walked onto the school grounds unannounced. There are gangs swinging punches at each other and intimidating children out of their lunch money. There are children too scared to go to the toilets lest they get assaulted.

Time to pull the lynchpin brothers aside. The older brother is screaming at being disciplined first. Sorry, but you trained the younger brother from before he could even walk properly that it is okay to use thuggery to promote your ego. The oldest child is always disciplined first and harder, as they are meant to be the role model.

Mind you, the mother has noticed the younger sibling setting up the older one to be told off. Don't worry, your turn is coming too.

My suggestion is that both brothers get their gangs under control.

None of you are above being disciplined. The greenhouse gases, AIDS pandemic and whatever else God decides to throw at you affect all dynasties equally. You want to fight until your extinct, go ahead. God will make damn sure you are around to watch the death throes. There will be no shelter in Zion for any of these thugs. There is no peace for the wicked.

When the world prayed to God for a solution to terrorism, God did not listen to your subtext of only "their" terrorism. If you want terrorism stopped, it will be both Christian and Muslim terrorism, within and without the faith communities. You want to end terrorism? Then you will end abuse within your own camps. Otherwise you are hypocritical liars and your prayers and offerings meaningless.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Wednesday, 28 February 2007 at 1:55am GMT

I'm with Goran, I'll help...let me know how to PROPERLY channel 'help' through Changing Attitudes U.K...I won't send anything directly to Nigeria or Uganda as I've already had a very unhappy experience being "frisked" by Orombi's accomplice, Fr. Eryc (I wasn't alone).

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Wednesday, 28 February 2007 at 2:07am GMT

When the UK government enact the new mental health legislation and make it possible for people withpersonality disorders to be locked up indefinitely, even if they have commited no crime, some of this site's correspondence will probably find out, first hand, just how scared David is.

Posted by: MadPriest on Wednesday, 28 February 2007 at 11:04am GMT

As you can see from this week's New Statesman (UK publication) persecution affects different ethnic groups, political dissidents and, of course, faith groups.

Rowan Williams wrote a piece in conjunction with Amnesty International about Christian leaders being detained without trial, which of course is a gross violation of human rights and to be highlighted and deplored. Web link here http://www.newstatesman.com/200702260024

What is happening in Nigeria is a different kind of evil. It's a package of human rights violations actually carried through a Parliament, an unheard of thing - the criminalisation of a thought, of an idea, of discussion about a law that itself doesn't command unanimity prior to its passing, a law that makes its own dissent illegal.

The really evil thing?

Its promoted by the Church. Put there by the Church.

Put there by us, in our name.

In the name of the gospel and on behalf of a Primate who signed up to all forms of discrimination being anathema and to a 'listening process'. (What a hollow joke that is in this instance when you're trying to have locked up some of the people you ought to be talking with).

Dar es Salaam never spoke about this. Never thought to implore Nigeria not to do this. Never made a statement about the need to uphold basic human rights (freedom of assembly, freedom of conscience of thought and expression).

This day will assuredly go down in infamy and the history books will lay this at the door of the Anglican Communion, and will ask of each and every one of us where we stood when this evil act was done in our name.

Posted by: Craig Nelson on Wednesday, 28 February 2007 at 11:21am GMT

A comment judged to be defamatory of an individual which was made here and approved earlier today has now been removed, and several other consequential comments will therefore not be published.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 28 February 2007 at 12:37pm GMT

I wrote my Congressman, Jim McDermott, who is also an Episcopalian, but I'm afraid I'm much too late. I was stupid not to think of doing that earlier. I did send his office the fax number of the Nigerian Embassy and the instructions to address it to the General Assembly, but, again, I think it's not going to get there in time.

I also asked Rep. McDermott to do what he can to facilitate emergency refugee status for gays and lesbians who need to leave Nigeria if this bill passes.

Posted by: sheila on Wednesday, 28 February 2007 at 6:59pm GMT

Leonardo Ricardo wrote: "I won't send anything directly .... as I've already had a very unhappy experience being "frisked" ..... (I wasn't alone)."

It was the same with South Africa in the 80ies.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Wednesday, 28 February 2007 at 9:21pm GMT

I called the ABC's office. his press secretary will relay emails: jonathan.jennings@lambethpalace.org.uk

Posted by: Weiwen Ng on Thursday, 1 March 2007 at 1:47am GMT

Several questions:
1. The man was just in Tanzania and apparently free to come and go, why the frenzy about getting him out? He seems to come and go with no problem.
2. Has anyone authenticated the various alleged threats he has received? They may be real but might they also have been invented by him to focus atention on a legitimately serious issue? (It would not be the first time that appeals from from Nigeria were attempted scams. I get email requests on an almost daily basis.)

Posted by: DaveG on Thursday, 1 March 2007 at 4:14pm GMT

DaveG ,

I am an honest gay Nigerian Anglican who is working for total inclusion for LGBT members of the church of Nigeria. I have never scam anyone or have reason to invent those threats. That I have just retuned from Tanzania never means I am safe in Nigeria. I have never considered asylum not because I am safe in Nigeria but because I love my country and want to remain to continue my work of changing the attitude of the Nigerian church and society towards us LGBT people.

I want to hear how you can help appeal to the Nigerian government to withdrew that deadly bill that will make me and my group an outcast in Nigeria. Talk to the Nigerian Anglican church that strongly support the bill that LGBT Anglicans in Nigeria will never have a place to tell there story if that bill is passed.

You live in a society where you can express your self and even comment about me whom you have never met , why not help us have such freedom of speech?

Posted by: Davis Mac-Iyalla on Thursday, 1 March 2007 at 5:20pm GMT

"It would not be the first time that appeals from from Nigeria were attempted scams. I get email requests on an almost daily basis." Dave G

You're absolutely right. I guess we have to rely on the "authenticated" support of ALL the folks that met Davis in Tanzania and Changing Attitudes U.K...did the ABC say hello to the "condemed?" Did the ABC and ++Katharine ask him to drop by and tell his story even though he was in the SAME building for the entire time?

The "omissions" are terrorizing LGBT people worldwide...but, the ABC and Bishop Katharine contine to live in a world of blackmail/denial and wishful thinking that ignores the reality of the Nigerian legislation and more forthcoming crimes of hate against Davis and millions of *other* human beings.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Thursday, 1 March 2007 at 5:31pm GMT

Just to say many thanks to all those who have been showing concern and Christian love to us your Nigerian LGBT brothers and sisters.

: I personally have been very moved by all the messages of support for me.

Posted by: Davis Mac-Iyalla on Thursday, 1 March 2007 at 5:36pm GMT

Dave, I was with Davis in Tanzania. There is nothing fabricated about the threats. If you think there might be, ask the respected journalists Jonathan Petre (Daily Telegraph UK), Stephen Bates (Guardian UK), George Conger (Church of England Newspaper - which has an article about Davis written by George this week), and David Virtue. And if you don't beleve them, ask the Archbishops of Cape Town and Canada. And if they aren't good enough for you, try asking Bishop Martyn Minns, who met Davis every morning at breakfast in Tanzania.

What's the matter with you, Dave, that you are so doubting and suspicious all the time?

Bishop Martyn promised to ask Canon Tunde to cease his attacks on Davis and cease telling lies about him. I'll be asking Bishop Martyn to demonstrate that Canon Tunde has agreed.

Posted by: Colin Coward on Thursday, 1 March 2007 at 8:51pm GMT

DaveG. "the man" is well known to people on TA and all those questions have already been answered, by him, by his supporters and on the Changing Attitude website. Davis is absolutely trustworthy, in real and actual danger, and the Tanzania visit was planned carefully by him and others and in secrecy.
Having said that, Davis has said on a number of occasions that he is not yet willing to leave because he believes strongly that his calling is to stay in Africa and work for Nigierian lgbt people for as long as possible.
I know Davis and I don't for a second doubt his faith, his integrity and his honesty.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Friday, 2 March 2007 at 7:27am GMT

Davis Mac-Iyalla: people are looking, listening and keeping watch for your safety because of your important representation.

Posted by: Pluralist on Friday, 2 March 2007 at 2:51pm GMT
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