I know what your answer is, but let's take a look at the holes in the mentality of this public sentiment that's so strong it's law. In Nigeria, gay crimes are severely punished with a jail sentence that could be up to fourteen years. additionally, in no less than twelve northern Nigerian States, under shari'a law which applies to all Muslims and anyone who consents to the law, the penalty is death, this makes Nigeria one of only a handful of countries that dishes out the death penalty for gay crimes as well as Nigeria being popularly known as the worst country when it comes to violence and vigilante justice against gays.
These laws are a direct reflection of the beliefs of most Nigerians. Nigeria as a country as well as it's morals and ethics are built solidly on the foundations of tradition and religion and anti-gay laws expresses this sentiment in no uncertain terms. For the sake of this piece we'll pretend that being gay is a choice. If so who exactly is the victim when someone makes this choice? Who are gay people a danger to? And what is so criminally wrong with gay people? The short answers are nobody, nobody and nothing. As bizarre and unthinkable a gay person must seem to us Nigerians, one still wonders if such a frivolous and sentimental prejudice deserves to be upheld by law, should people who engage in premarital sex be arrested too since it's forbidden in our religions? Or should we have our neighbours arrested too because we don't like the sound they make when they brush their teeth outside? As the tolerance required to peacefully coexist with people who commit these minor indecent acts is easy to grow so too should the tolerance for gays. The reason why it's so difficult for Nigerians is due to a lack of empathy and indeed sympathy. If being gay can be considered a crime, then it is a victimless one given the fact that a gay person can only be gay with another gay person.
Many believe that if gays are allowed to freely and openly be themselves (which would include the legalization of gay marriages) then they could negatively influence Nigerians an their population would increase and this in turn would upset the moral balance of society. A claim that is baseless, hollow and hypocritical as moral balance in Nigeria is already severely unbalanced with many Nigerians having either a broken or nonexistent value system as a result of many valuing narcissistic ideals and selfish ambition over human life and doing the right thing.
The main sentiment anyway behind anti-gay laws and violence is the religious one with many finding members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community guilty of being in transgressions of the code and laws of their religion. It may be slightly different with Islamic beliefs but Nigerians generally do believe that the only thing that can save the souls of gay people is total repentance and acceptance of their religious practice and beliefs. If this is the case why propagate and protect laws and actions that see gays hated, beaten half to death, jailed or even killed. Are these not even more severe transgressions of their religion? Hypocrisy comes to floor once again. Would peaceful prayer for intervention and evangelism not be the best and religious attempt of outreach and correction?
Whatever your personal predisposition may be, these laws and discriminatory treatment from Nigerians on gays are a gross encroachment of human rights. One can only hope that a future exist where gays can live in peace within Nigeria as there are so many tribes, religion and tradition in Nigeria and to a certain extent they coexist peacefully therefore people of diverse sexuality may also be able to do same if given the chance. Nigerians are a tough crowd though and if change is going to happen at all it will happen very slowly.
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