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Sunday, 1 March 2009

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Mentioned House Of Rainbow Nigeria in Report




It is with great joy that I rush this update to you, I just received information that in the annual Human Rights Report released from the US Department of State during a press conference of the Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton include discrimination against LGBT communities in Nigeria and focuses particularly on the Bauchi case and the House Of Rainbow MCC Lagos attacks.


Other Societal Abuses and Discrimination


Homosexuality is illegal under federal law; homosexual practices are punishable by prison sentences of up to 14 years. In the 12 northern states that have adopted Shari'a law, adults convicted of engaging in homosexual intercourse are subject to execution by stoning, although no such sentences were imposed during the year. Because of widespread taboos against homosexuality, very few persons were openly homosexual.


On September 12, local newspapers Nation, Vanguard, PM News and the Sunday Sun published photos, names, and addresses of members of the House of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered-friendly church in Lagos. Following publication, persons started harassing the 12 members. One woman was attacked by 11 men, while others were threatened, stoned, and beaten. No investigation was initiated by year's end.


There were repeated delays in the trial of 18 men arrested in August 2007 by Bauchi State police and charged with "addressing each other as women and dressing themselves as women," which is illegal under the Shari'a penal code. The men, all in their twenties, also were charged originally with sodomy, but the charges were later changed to "vagrancy" under the Bauchi State Islamic code. All 18 accused remained free on bail at year's end, but no developments occurred in their trial.

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