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Saturday, 7 March 2009

A Call to Prayer for Nigeria On the Same Gender Bill Debate


On Wednesday, March 11, legislators in Nigeria will again address a matter of life and death for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in that nation. On that date, the Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2008, introduced by the Nigerian National Assembly on January 15, 2009, will be debated and voted on.A House of Rainbow MCC member will travel to Abuja to present testimony against the bill.At issue is more than relational rights or marriage equality.


The criminalization of our love means the criminalization of our lives. If enacted, this law will drive LGBT people underground, lessen HIV prevention, separate people from their families, impact the housing, employment and public services of LGBT people - and will literally put their lives in danger.We know all too well how real that threat can be from the recent experiences of Rev. Jide Macaulay and his congregation of House of Rainbow MCC, who were driven from a Sunday worship service by an angry crowd of people who believed LGBT lives are expendable.


One woman from the MCC congregation was severely beaten by a mob of eleven. Rev. Jide has received numerous death threats.Ours is a movement of faith grounded in these convictions: God made us who we are, God's love is universal and unconditional, all human life is sacred, and all humanity must be accorded equal dignity and value and worth. All life should be protected; no life should be threatened.We call on all MCCers to join us on Sunday, March 8, in fervent prayer.


Together, let us pray for the defeat of this restrictive and life-threatening legislation in Nigeria. Pray for the courage and safety of our House of Rainbow MCC member presenting testimony. And pray for a fresh outpouring of God's Holy Spirit on the Nigerian National Assembly, that their hearts may be opened to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God.


In faith and hope,+Nancy +GlennaRev. Elder Nancy Wilson, The Rev. Elder Glenna ShepherdOffice of the MCC Moderator MCC Elder Serving Region 4


Prayer:


O God, we pray todaythat you surround your LGBT children in Nigeriain the light and love and life of Jesus the Christ.Protect each and everyone from all violence, hatred and discrimination,and the loss of things necessary for a full and flourishing life.Give to each and every one safe space.Protect our MCC representative at the National Assembly legislative hearing.And open the hearts of the Nigerian National Assembly Membersto act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with youand all your children.In the name of Jesus the Christ, we pray. Amen

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