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Sunday, 21 December 2008

In a First, Gay Rights Are Pressed at the U.N.

In a First, Gay Rights Are Pressed at the U.N.
By NEIL MACFARQUHAR

UNITED NATIONS — An unprecedented declaration seeking to decriminalize homosexuality won the support of 66 countries in the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, but opponents criticized it as an attempt to legitimize pedophilia and other “deplorable acts.”

The United States refused to support the nonbinding measure, as did Russia, China, the Roman Catholic Church and members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The Holy See’s observer mission issued a statement saying that the declaration “challenges existing human rights norms.”The declaration, sponsored by France with broad support in Europe and Latin America, condemned human rights violations based on homophobia, saying such measures run counter to the universal declaration of human rights.

“How can we tolerate the fact that people are stoned, hanged, decapitated and tortured only because of their sexual orientation?” said Rama Yade, the French state secretary for human rights, noting that homosexuality is banned in nearly 80 countries and subject to the death penalty in at least six.France decided to use the format of a declaration because it did not have the support for an official resolution. Read out by Ambassador Jorge Arg├╝ello of Argentina, the declaration was the first on gay rights read in the 192-member General Assembly itself.

Although laws against homosexuality are concentrated in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, more than one speaker addressing a separate conference on the declaration noted that the laws stemmed as much from the British colonial past as from religion or tradition.Navanethem Pillay, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, speaking by video telephone, said that just like apartheid laws that criminalized sexual relations between different races, laws against homosexuality “are increasingly becoming recognized as anachronistic and as inconsistent both with international law and with traditional values of dignity, inclusion and respect for all.”

The opposing statement read in the General Assembly, supported by nearly 60 nations, rejected the idea that sexual orientation was a matter of genetic coding. The statement, led by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, said the effort threatened to undermine the international framework of human rights by trying to normalize pedophilia, among other acts.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference also failed in a last-minute attempt to alter a formal resolution that Sweden sponsored condemning summary executions. It sought to have the words “sexual orientation” deleted as one of the central reasons for such killings.Ms. Yade and the Dutch foreign minister, Maxime Verhagen, said at a news conference that they were “disappointed” that the United States failed to support the declaration. Human rights activists went further. “The Bush administration is trying to come up with Christmas presents for the religious right so it will be remembered,” said Scott Long, a director at Human Rights Watch.

The official American position was based on highly technical legal grounds. The text, by using terminology like “without distinction of any kind,” was too broad because it might be interpreted as an attempt by the federal government to override states’ rights on issues like gay marriage, American diplomats and legal experts said.“We are opposed to any discrimination, legally or politically, but the nature of our federal system prevents us from undertaking commitments and engagements where federal authorities don’t have jurisdiction,” said Alejandro D. Wolff, the deputy permanent representative.

Gay-rights advocates brought to the conference from around the world by France said just having the taboo broken on discussing the topic at the United Nations would aid their battles at home.

“People in Africa can have hope that someone is speaking for them,” said the Rev. Jide Macaulay of Nigeria.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

About Spirituality And Sexuality

You are invited to join http://spiritualityandsexuality.ning.com/

About Spirituality And Sexuality


Spirituality Spirituality is very much part of the human life. As a mission we help people on a journey to reconcile sexuality and spirituality. Spirituality in Africa and elsewhere is considered Spiritual food and the need to reconcile, worship, meditate and pray is very important, this also adds to the well being of the people. The spiritual life and existence of LGBTI people also negates guilt and lifelessness. The spiritual needs of sexual minorities is not different from that of sexual majority. Our ministry also look at helping people deal with the aftermath or discovering of being sexual minority, then we assist with reconciling their religious belief with understanding their sexual orientation and how that impact on their life and society. We use education and apply formal acknowledgement of the existence and validation of sexual orientation and identity to liberate and validate the individuals.

Sexuality This deals with the nature of human sexuality known; however in many parts of the world sexuality outside the “dictated norm” namely heterosexual is strongly denied, mystified and vilified. Religious leaders and mainstream organisations reject sexual minorities. Those with any form of sexuality, sexual expressions or identifies as a sexual minority faces gigantic oppressions by society, religion, the law and customs. In many countries there are no legislative processes or powers that addresses protection against discrimination or indeed existing societal phobias.

What we aim to do at Spirituality and Sexuality Forum Promote and assist LGBTI people on a journey to reconcile their faith with sexual orientation. Assist with process of Coming Out and understanding sexual orientation and identity. We work by exploring limitations that inhibits reconciliation of sexual orientation with culture, faith traditions and the Law. We found that many people struggled with reconciling sexuality with spirituality and have often associated either being lesbian, bisexual or gay as an abomination, this has had drastic effect on the rise of destructive behaviour and mental health. With this forum, we are confident that there will be changes in peoples' attitude towards self and moving from destructive behaviour to understanding themselves. Self hatred to self love and improvement on self esteem and assertiveness. Welcome to the forum and we pray that your journey to reconciling spirituality and sexuality will be fulfilled. Be Blessed, Be Good, Be Loved

Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay - LLB, MTh, FACTS. Founding Pastor, House Of Rainbow MCC, Lagos Nigeria;P.O.Box 1430 Isolo Lagos Nigeriahttp://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2008/07/17/purefoy.nigeria.gay.church.cnn+234 1 741 0978, +234 (0) 805 256 7170, +234 (0) 702 8161496 Nigeria;Yahoo ID; revjide;Alternative email; revjide@yahoo.com;Blog; www.revrowlandjidemacaulay.blogspot.comBlog; www.houseofrainbowmcc.blogspot.com Web; www.mccchurch.org

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

TRANSFORMED TRANSGENDER

Transformed Transgender.
By Stephanie Adedapo Adaralegbe.

Transgender are candidates for the much acclaimed sex change surgery and they certainly exist in every part of the World. Transgender bespeak a complexity in God’s creation, something quite unfathomable to most human minds. Transgender ness in my own opinion further intensifies on the mystery and awesomeness of God. For the bible makes us realise that we are gods. In other words, a creative ability to transform into another gender actually depicts the very vast potentials and power of the recreated human spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17) and the good news is that such life is inundated with unimaginable and indescribable powers as demonstrated by Jesus Christ whilst on earth.

An exposition on transgender reveals that they are individuals that psychologically and emotionally feel and identify as the opposite sex thereby transcending traditionally gender boundaries and corresponding sexual norms. This to a conventional Christian may look like an aberration, something against the original purpose and will of God. What’s more, in most part of the World transgender struggle with the larger Society on acceptance. The reasons are not far- fetched, they are simply because the Society cannot understand them. However, life is full of so many things we cannot understand; yet it is a proof positive it’s from God.

As a recreated human spirit, a born again Christian I have the knowledge that absolutely anything and everything is possible with Jesus Christ (Mark 9:23). Sex change is possible to whoever that believeth. The parochial and provincial Christians may oppose this notion and wonder why God could make a person male if God could as well later change the person to female. I consider the dialectics of this debate enrapturing as a born again, spirit filled Christian because of the wonderful revelations I unravel in it. The same God that made us male and female (Genesis 1:27) did not make a mistake yet God can cause a change (a sex change in this perspective) to reveal God’s fathomless wisdom, knowledge and glory (Romans 11:33). After all, God is the “unchangeable changer” the God that causes changes in our lives with such immense causative powers. Our sovereign is a behemoth God (Job 40:15-24) with awesome powers not subject to our human comprehension (Romans 11:33). God is a wonderful potter, a holy artist who is still in the process of moulding us into vessels as it seems good unto God (Jeremiah 18:1-4)

The voice of the LORD visited me strongly as a born again Christian with a transgender orientation in the book of Jeremiah. For the LORD actually took me in a trance to the potter’s house (Jeremiah 18:1-4) and the word of the LORD came to me as like Jeremiah. At the potter’s house the vessel that God made of clay was marred in the hands of the potter: so God made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Note another vessel completely different from the original design and purpose. Jesus spoke mysteries to me in this passage. The mysteries He had concealed away from the wise. For God chose the foolish things of this World to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the World to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this World and the despised things- and the things that are not (like transgender ness) to nullify the things that are (1 Corinthians1:27-29) so that no one may boast before God.

Back to the potter’s house, the re- creative ability of God to perfect a sex change or gender reassignment was made glaring, if only you believe (Mark 9:23). For the Lord made it point clear to me that though I have been marred in God’s hands as a male vessel, our sovereign God has all re- creative abilities to remould me as a female vessel. Glory to God Almighty!

The pains and pangs of being transgender, the sex reassignment surgery and living as a transsexual person in any part of the World go a long way. And it is very pivotal that the author and finisher of such faith is Christ Jesus. For without Jesus we can do nothing. It is absolutely clear that without an inter- personal relationship with Jesus, transcending traditional gender boundaries characterized by transgender ness and the populous sex change surgery could be parodied, precarious or even a pathway to destruction. But glory to God, Jesus is accessible and available as an advocate to such change. For his grace abounds much with the recreated human spirit- the born again Christian. And for this particular reason I describe myself as the new wine of Jesus that was brought forth in the wedding at Cana. My divine visitation by the LORD progressed into the book of John where Jesus had changed water into wine. There the LORD revealed to me in practical terms an amazing awesomeness as depicted in the wedding at Cana. The voice of the LORD was lucid and limpid at the miraculous abilities. God created water for a purpose and created wine for a purpose. In other words, water and wine has distinctive purposes likewise gender – male and female. However, in the re-creative abilities of Jesus, he had demanded water and changed water into wine, an explicit miracle he did to the glory of God. The transformed wine illustrated the awesome re- creative abilities of Jesus which aptly analogize the transformed transgender, the new wine of Jesus Christ. For the jars filled with water was changed to wine (John 2:7). And the servants drew some out and took to the master of the banquet (John 2:8). The master of the banquet tasted the water that had turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who drawn the water knew (John 2:9). Then he commented the best wine is always served first. Then after the guests have had plenty, the other wine is served. But you have kept the best until last! (John 2:10)

Undoubtedly, the new wine, the transformed wine and the re- creative abilities of Jesus at work was an outright show of the best for last. Praise the LORD! I am the new wine of Jesus, the transformed wine and the re-creative abilities of Jesus at work at its utmost best. A toast of the master of the banquet and even the Kings of nations, yet a sign through which the LORD reveals glory, so that people of this age can put their faith in God (John 2:11). Blessing, honour, power, might, glory and thanksgiving behoves our LORD and GOD Jesus Christ forever more. Amen.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

ANNOUNCING FREEDOM2BE FOR LGBTI NIGERIANS AND HOUSE OF RAINBOW MCC


ANNOUNCING FREEDOM2BE FOR LGBTI NIGERIANS AND HOUSE OF RAINBOW MCC

We now have a dedicated website, please show your support and visit as often.
www.rainbow.freedom2be.org

1) Sign The Petitions
2) Send an email to the African Commissioner
3) Send a message of Support to House Of Rainbow MCC
4) Circulate this Campaign amongst your network/Mailing list/Groups etc
5) Donate to Support our work locally

Thank you so much
More love more power

Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay

Thursday, 17 July 2008

NIGERIA: Web Link House Of Rainbow MCC Lagos On CNN


NIGERIA:

Web Link House Of Rainbow MCC Lagos On CNN

House Of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church Lagos Nigeria, the first and currently the only Christian ministry open and welcoming to Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender Christians was featured on CNN on Thursday the 17th July 2008, here is the link to view, http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2008/07/17/purefoy.nigeria.gay.church.cnn

The CNN reporter for the series is Christian Purefoy.

Should you wish to contact House Of Rainbow MCC Lagos Nigeria or the Revd Rowland Jide Macaulay, please email houseofrainbow@hotmail.com or
call +234 (0) 805 256 7170 or +234 1 741 0978

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

African Gays Speaks Out

African gays speak out on "state-backed" homophobia
Tue May 8, 2007 8:00am EDT


By Gershwin WanneburgJOHANNESBURG, May 8 (Reuters) - Gay activists are protesting against what they describe as "state-sponsored" homophobia in Africa, saying authorities tacitly condone their persecution across the continent.The International Gay and Lesbian Association's (ILGA) first pan-African conference in Johannesburg, which ends on Tuesday, drew about 60 activists who say they have seen first-hand the consequences of laws that breed homophobia.In some cases, possible sentences against gays include death by stoning.

Thirty-eight of 85 U.N. members who outlaw homosexuality are in Africa, according to an April 2007 ILGA report entitled "State Homophobia in Africa", which accused many African governments of "institutionally promoting a culture of hatred" against gay and lesbian people."Although many of the countries ... do not systematically implement those laws, their mere existence reinforces a culture where a significant portion of the citizens need to hide from the rest of the population in fear," the report said."

A culture where hatred and violence are somehow justified by the state and force people into invisibility or into denying who they truly are."South Africa stands alone in Africa in its liberal attitude, last year becoming the first African nation to allow gay marriages.Rowland Jide Macaulay, a gay cleric, breaking with African tradition that regards homosexuality as a taboo, launched a gay-friendly church in his native Nigeria last year to counter negative messages from officials and church leaders in a country where laws render homosexuality punishable by stoning to death.

"We're talking with people who cannot even integrate in the society. They've lost their jobs because they found out that they're gay at work, they've lost the roof over their head because their landlord found out they are gay," he said."There are people who suffer homophobic attacks ... verbal abuse and I think people need assurance they're not mentally ill."Laws proposed last year will make life harder for gays in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, he said.

The Same Sex Prohibition Bill bans homosexual unions and allows for the prosecution of anyone "aiding and abetting" gays and lesbians."In the southern part of federal Nigeria the punishment is seven-14 years. In the sharia (Islamic law) states in the north it's actually death by stoning," Macaulay said.A West African activist, who did not want to be named, said discrimination towards gay men in his region was deep-seated, especially in the justice system."We've been fighting to have access to justice in a fair way because many times you are judged arbitrarily because when you are homosexual your rights are not recognised," he said."You are wrong even before you start to talk."

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

God Also Loves Gay People

God Also Loves Gay People

http://www.news24.com/City_Press/Features/0,,186-1696_2289015,00.html

While most churches condemn homosexuality and many African governments ban it outright, a Nigerian minister has set up a ministry for gay Christians in West Africa's largest city, reports WALDIMAR PELSER from Lagos.

THERE are 18 men in northern Nigeria facing 10 years in jail or 120 strokes of the cane in public for dressing up like women at a party last August.

In Senegal, seven men and a woman have been arrested for appearing in pictures taken at a gay party. A member of the Muslim Supreme Council in Uganda has called on gays to be killed and the minister for ethics and integrity insists they should leave the country because of their “strange, ungodly” ways.

It is not popular to be gay in Africa. It is illegal in 32 countries.

But on the outskirts of Lagos a gay minister dressed in a colourful rainbow flag bellows “Hallelujah!” from the pulpit. His ministry, House of Rainbow Church, has become a refuge for about 30 gay Christian men in West Africa’s largest city. Some have lost their jobs, been thrown out by their families and suffered abuse by friends or the police because of who they choose to love.

Reverend Jide Macaulay (42) has gained notoriety in Nigeria by speaking out in the House of Representatives in February last year – barely two months after South Africa passed Africa’s first act legalising gay marriages in December 2006 – against a bill that imposes a prison sentence on anyone who speaks out or forms a group supporting gay people’s rights.

If passed, Nigeria will be one of the most dangerous places in the world to be gay.
Now with a parliamentary committee, Nigeria’s Same Sex Prohibition Bill is not yet law but is “taken to be law” by many Nigerians, including the police, Macaulay says.
“Landlords consider the bill to be law; employers consider it law. People are losing their jobs or the roofs over their heads because there is a bill that says same-sex amorous relationships are prohibited,” says Macaulay.

Last month Michael* (26), a parishioner of the church, spent 10 days in detention at an army barracks in Lagos, forced into hard labour by a family member who carried out a “civilian arrest” when Michael admitted he was gay.

Joseph Akoro (20), who runs an advocacy group for gay rights, says extortion and “direct homophobic attacks” are common. His group, The Independent Project, organises events “amid tight security and always at night, for fear of being attacked”.
Akoro hopes to set up a website to report the abuse of gays and lesbians.

“There is a culture of silence,” says Jude Dibia (33), author of Walking with Shadows, a novel in which the lead character is “outed” by a colleague at work. After his marriage fails, the character leaves Nigeria for London. “When I wrote my book, I got so many messages from gay Nigerians who said ‘Thank you for telling our story’. But there was a backlash from the press, who questioned my sexuality and investigated my personal life.”

Nigerians willing to speak out about gay rights face strong opposition from church groups.
Nigeria’s Archbishop, Peter Akinola (64), has led worldwide opposition to the ordination of gay priests in the US, deepening a rift which some believe could split the Anglican community.
He has called gays “strange, two-in-one humans” and said homosexuality is “an aberration, unknown even in the animal kingdom”.

While countries like Burkina Faso have scrapped sodomy laws, gays in Kenya organise large parties openly on the internet and gay men and women in South Africa have been allowed to adopt children since 2002, Akinola’s message is spreading “ripples of fear” in Nigeria, says Macaulay.

“Peter Akinola is building an army of homophobic people. Religious leaders in Nigeria are very, very powerful people, have large congregations and use television and the airwaves to propagate homophobic messages.”

Movies from Nollywood, as Nigeria’s burgeoning film industry is known, have also addressed gay themes, mostly depicting “lesbian relationships that end tragically”, critic Unoma Azuah writes in the Vanguard newspaper.

In End Times the protagonist is a gay pastor who gets his powers from the devil while in Beautiful Faces a lesbian character is a thief, prostitute and leader of a vicious cult.
“One begins to wonder if it is mere coincidence,” Azuah says.

Prejudice forces gays into hiding and has an unintended affect on sexual health. Macaulay fears the issue of HIV among gay Nigerian men is “not surfacing”. “Most gays are in hiding,” says Macaulay. “Men tell me they are married but also have a lover in a different state. This can have a drastic effect on sexual health. When you have multiple partners and there is secrecy around it or switching boyfriends all the time to avoid being found out, it heightens the chances of transmission.

“It is very difficult to know how many are infected. We do not have the data; we have no information.”

In Senegal, French health group AIDES says the HIV-prevalence rate is about 21.5% in the gay community and 0.7% in the community at large as repressive laws continue to make the outright targeting of gay men and women possible.

Macaulay’s church is one of a handful of Nigerian organisations that offer sexual health counselling for lesbians and gay men while preaching faithfulness and handing out condoms in case the need for use arises.

“Our main vision is to get gay men and women to reconcile their sexuality and their spirituality. The tragedy is that many people cannot do it because of historical interpretations of the scriptures,” says Macaulay.

Armed with books like The Queer Bible Commentary, Homosexuality in the Church and The Lord Is My Shepherd & He Knows I’m Gay , Macaulay is preaching inclusion.
Last month he told an African sexuality conference in Abuja he was an ordained minister and gay. There was surprise and howls of damnation but after he spoke, 200 copies of his Pocket Devotional for gay Christians were snapped up at the door.

“They said ‘How dare you?’ But I cannot live dishonestly to please anybody else. I’m a happy, holy homosexual.”

* Not his real name

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Why Do We Need Another Church In Nigeria?

Why Do We Need Another Church In Nigeria?

HOUSE OF RAINBOWMETROPOLITAN COMMUNITY CHURCH LAGOS NIGERIA

1. Why the need for another church in Lagos Nigeria?

Within religious circles there exists great tension over the issue of including homosexuals. For persons who are Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender, there are too few or perhaps no places that wholly affirm these individuals who are Christians, self-affirming, and homosexuals. It is our calling to provide a corrective and a viable alternative. We desire to be a place of extravagant welcome for all persons — especially persons seeking a community built on honesty, openness, and equity. We believe the call that we have received comes from God and is both specific and radical. We seek to reach persons on the margins of society and make the table of the Lord accessible to all.

2. What is your denominational affiliation?

We are affiliated with the denomination of the Universal Fellowship of the Metropolitan Community Churches, founded on the 6th October 1968, in Los Angeles United States of America, founded by Rev Elder Troy D. Perry; the mission is currently under the leadership of Rev Elder Nancy L. Wilson as Moderator. We are a denomination working for unity and justice in both church and society.

3. What is Radical Inclusivity?

Radical inclusivity is the belief that all persons are welcome at the table. Inclusivity challenges major fundamental, deep-seated beliefs, doctrines and theologies at the centre of society which characterize people on the edge as enemies of God and routinely mistreats, oppresses and excludes people from the community of faith and its institutions.

4. What will the worship experience look like at House Of Rainbow, Metropolitan Community Church Lagos Nigeria?

Our worship style is celebrative and contemplative — free and open to the Spirit. We will seek to provide a rich blend of a variety of traditions - Pentecostal, Baptist, Apostolic, Methodist - just to name a few. We seek to provide an experience that values ritual, tradition, and yet one that is open to a God who is still speaking. We will also provide a space for persons to examine the deeper meaning of our traditions and faith expressions. Whether it is through our powerful praise and worship, the performing arts, or through social ministry that is grounded in love, we will seek to be a balanced people who embody the transforming and liberating love of Jesus Christ.

5. How do I become a member?

Membership is open to all. We now hold weekly bible studies, regular Membership Foundation Class and other programmes. Please contact us at houseofrainbow@hotmail.com to receive information regarding time and location.

Link blog

This is a blog to link with http://www.revrowlandjidemacaulay.blogspot.com/