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Rev Jide Interviewed In New York

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Palm Sunday Service With Rev Jide Macaulay @ MCC East London UK


Palm Sunday Service With Rev Jide Macaulay @ MCC East London UK


Host: Metropolitan Community Church East LondonType: Meetings - ConventionNetwork: GlobalDate: Sunday, April 5, 2009Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pmLocation: Metropolitan Community Church East London @ St Bartholomew's Church, Barking Road East HamStreet: 292B Barking Road East Ham E6 3BACity/Town: London, United Kingdom

On Palm Sunday Christians celebrate the Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the week before the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Bible reveals that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds greeted him with waving palm branches, and by covering his path with palm branches. Immediately following this great time of celebration in the ministry of Jesus, he begins his journey to the cross. We invite you to MCC East London UK for this historical celebration. Please pass on to your friends and network.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Homosexuality and the Nigerian lawmakers

Below is an editorial in the Nigerian Guardians Newspaper this morning following a response to a bias article published last week. http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/editorial_opinion/article01/indexn2_html?pdate=230309&ptitle=Homosexuality%20and%20the%20lawmakers

Homosexuality and the lawmakers

THE question of homosexuality long regarded as taboo in the highly religious society of Nigeria, has of recent been raising its head and profile in the field of public debate. No longer content to remain in the closet, proponents of homosexuality and lesbianism are actively seeking to be heard. They are up against an uphill task as they are pitched not only against culture and religion but against public perception of morality.

The various religions of the world do not condone homosexuality; Christianity and Islam, Nigeria's largest religions, in particular condemn homosexuality. The mere mention of homosexuality is guaranteed to drive many Nigerian Christians and Moslems up the wall in revulsion. But there are others, somewhat tolerant who are inclined to look at the phenomenon as a form of benign affliction from which the victims can be rescued. For this group homosexuals and lesbians should be managed until they return to the path of rectitude. For others however, homosexuality is not a stigma but a biological condition, which is as perfectly normal as heterosexual orientation.

These issues came to the fore recently when a bill to ban same sex marriages in Nigeria was tabled before the National Assembly. An attempt to obtain public reaction to the bill turned into an occasion of high drama. A group of young people under the lugubrious name of Queer Alliance stormed the House of Representatives in Abuja to protest what they say is discrimination against their fundamental human rights if a bill banning same sex marriages in Nigeria were passed. They have been joined by Amnesty International, Global Rights, Human Rights Watch and some Lesbian organisations which argue that if the bill were passed, Nigeria's obligations under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights would be undermined.

Pitched against the homosexuals are religious bodies comprising the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion and Daughters of Sarah Ministry. They warn that same sex marriages would destroy the will of God for mankind as He created us male and female. They totally reject same sex marriages as ungodly, unprofitable, unhealthy and un-African. The position of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria on homosexuality as articulated by the Very Reverend Peter Akinola is well known. In 2004, more than 300 bishops congregated in Lagos and resolved among other things not to have anything to do with homosexuality. The great Lambeth Hall, home of Anglicanism is wobbling over the issue of homosexuality and a schism is yet to be averted.

The problem with Nigerians is that we are all too eager to copy the latest fads from the western world. Not every product from the West is good and the well-heeled homosexual lobby is one such example. We must come to look at the issue of same sex relationships from the prism of our culture and religion. For the African, the idea that a man can be married to a man or a woman to a woman is anathema. The culture of marriage is predicated on the union between a man and a woman and all our traditional practices and normative values regarding marriage are based on the assumption that the other member is of the opposite sex. African parents prepare their children from birth through adolescence for marriage to the opposite sex.

Too many things will be upset were it possible to upturn age-old customs and practices. Those who argue that opposition to homosexuality amounts to a violation of universal human rights, may well need to realise that the dislike of homosexuality is not inconsistent with the observance of human rights. Nigerian homosexuals are not pilloried for being gay. They have a choice: they can marry members of the opposite sex or stay single. They only draw unfavourable attention to themselves when they threaten the safety and security of the majority.

Africans have a right to say 'no' to a movement whose ultimate outcome will be the destruction of the family. Homosexuals are claiming that men can marry themselves. If everyone followed their example, would they have even been born? Looking at the debate, we conclude that in the short run both parties cannot be reconciled without grave injuries being done to either of them. Since sodomy is already criminalised in Nigeria, we wonder whether the National Assembly is utilising its time optimally by focusing on homosexuality when the majority of our people are suffering from hunger, lack of access to water and disease.

Moreover, as pointed out by the gay lobbyists, same sex marriage is not a common social practice in Nigeria therefore legislating against it is redundant and can only further stigmatise the sexual minority. Perhaps the National Assembly should be spending its time on real issues that impact on the lives of long-suffering Nigerians.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Over One Thousands hits on One of our YouTube Video Blog

Over One Thousands hits on One of our YouTube Video Blog

http://www.youtube.com/HouseOfRainbow

I am excited and I rush this news to you that we have received over a thousand hits on one of the videos posted.All glory to God. Thanks to the unconditional and undeniable love of God and the undisputable sacrifice of JesusTo date we have twenty videos posted, with the expectation of more key messages to be posted. We have received nearly 70 posted messages, from the good to the ugly, in all the messages we receive strength and wisdom

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

House Of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church Statement at the Public Hearing at the Nigeria Parliament 11th March 2009‏

To: The Clerk, House Committee on Human Rights, Nigeria.
11th March 2009.
Statement of House Of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church Nigeria

Dear Honourables, Chairperson, House of Representative, Committee on Human Rights, Interested Members of the public, All stakeholders, Ladies and Gentlemen of the media.

The statement of concern from the entire members of House Of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church Nigeria, the Pastor, leaders and board of trustees, with regards to a Bill for an Act to prohibit marriage between persons of the same gender, solemnisation of same and other matters related therewith 2008.We express our deep concern and trepidation on the matters before you today as a matter of conscience and denial of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender (LGBT) people in our nation.

The Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2008, which was introduced by the Nigerian National Assembly on 15th of January, 2009, will have an extreme impact on the work and services we provide to include sexual minorities in our communities.We are aware of the Nigeria constitution “Penal Code” which makes Homosexuality illegal under federal law, however, because of widespread taboos against homosexuality, very few persons were openly homosexual and have often been ostracised, rejected and victimised by religious communities, workplace discrimination on these grounds and the society at large.

Violence against LGBT people is frequent in Nigeria. Since May 2008, several national newspapers published articles criticizing our organization, many of the articles included names, addresses, and photographs of members of the congregation and the pastor. Police harassment and threats forced the church to shut down and the pastor to retreat for safety. Some members of the congregation lost their jobs and were evicted from their homes and had to go into hiding, and several of them continue to be under threat of physical harm and harassment on the ground of their sexual orientation.This legislation would allow the state to invade people’s homes and bedrooms and investigate their private lives, and it would criminalize the work of human rights defenders, and other service providers.

“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. This was emphasized by the US Secretary of State Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2008 Human Rights Report”.

We believe that the Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill will disastrously endorse a climate of homophobia and escalating hate crime against gay and lesbian Nigerian citizens, making them among the most vulnerable in the world to human rights violations, rape, blackmail, injustice, severe abuse and extortion with no recourse to justice.Equal human rights and freedom from persecution are not only humanist and democratic values, they are necessary conditions for the human spirit to thrive. When either is absent, a society foments the conditions for untold suffering among its own people, many Nigerians now questions the nation’s commitment to a democratic state for all constituents, including those considered sexual minority.

The proposed bill, if approved, would seriously restrict essential freedoms as well as the activities of human rights defenders, members of civil society and our inclusive religious community. The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders holds, in its article 5, that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels: a) to meet or assemble peacefully; b) to form, join and participate in non-governmental organizations, associations or groups.” Article7 of the declaration affirms that “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to develop and discuss new human rights ideas and principles and to advocate their acceptance.”

House Of Rainbow Nigeria is a non government organisation of the Universal Fellowship of the Metropolitan Community Church, with a ministry for Global Justice , we believe that all people are created equal and attest to the diverse unimaginable creation of the almighty God, regardless of race, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and so on.

We promote a God given sexuality against the background of societal hatred and self destructive behaviours.Our work begins where other religious communities end to bring sexual minorities to a safe place of worship, these has been and will continue to be compromised by this bill, which seeks to criminalise any association and or assembly of same gender loving people.We respectfully call on:• The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria• The National House of Assembly (especially the Committees on Human Rights, and the Committee on Judiciary)• The Ministry of Justice• The Joint Committee on Human Rights, Justice and Women Affairs.• And The National Human Rights CommissionTo reverse this harmful legislation and begin reparation by de-criminalising same gender relationships, offering equal protections to Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.

We also call on:• The President of Nigeria to ensure that the human rights of LGBT individuals and human rights defenders in Nigeria are not violated, and to openly denounce and condemn the continuous hounding of the LGBT community, its friends and families, and human rights defenders.• The Nigerian Police and Central Intelligence Department (CID) to protect LGBT individuals from all forms of violence and abuse.• The media to uphold the ethics and tenets of responsible media practice.We have faith in the democratic legislative process and it is with this hope that we believe that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Nigerians will begin to be valued within civil society and be allowed to positively contribute to the future of this democracy.

We offer our statement in solidarity with all who have been marginalized, praying for a genuine change of heart in this matter to alleviate the suffering caused by grievance, inequality, prejudice, unfairness, injustice, societal and religious homophobia and the possible enactment of this legislation.

Signed House Of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church Nigeria.

Nigeria Gay Activists Speaks Out














Nigeria gay activists speak out

Gay rights activist Rashidi Williams addresses Nigeria's National Assembly. Nigerian gay rights activists have told the country's lawmakers that a new bill to outlaw same sex marriage would lead to widespread human rights abuses. The new law would mean prison sentences for gay people who live together, and anyone who "aids and abets" them.


The plea by activists was made to a public committee of the National Assembly which is discussing the bill. It is already illegal to have gay sex in Nigeria but the new law would extend police powers to arrest suspects. "This bill is not necessary, we see no reason why people should be criminalised," Rashidi Williams, 23, of the Queer Alliance of Nigeria told the committee.
"I did not choose to be gay. It is trial enough to live in this country, we should not create more laws to make us suffer," he said.


'Fabric of society'
Under the new law anyone who has "entered into a same gender marriage contract" would be liable to be jailed for three years. The bill defines a same sex marriage as gay people living together.

If you are not careful and allow the institution of the family to break down, the consequences will be on all of us Mayor Eze Nigerian National Assembly member Anyone who "witnesses, abet and aids the solemnization" of a same gender marriage would face five years in prison, or a fine.
Activists say the law does not make sense because anyone who aides and abets people to live together would face a tougher sentence than the couple concerned.


The law would make it easier for the police to arrest suspects, and criminalise anyone working in a human rights organisation that dealt with gay rights, they say.


Church groups spoke in favour of the bill, saying that gay marriage risked "tearing the fabric of society".


"In the Bible it says homosexuals are criminals," Pius Akubo of the Daughters of Sarah church told lawmakers.


Rev Patrick Alumake told the National Assembly the top leadership of the Catholic church in Nigeria supported the bill wholeheartedly.


"There are wild, weird, ways of life that are affecting our own culture very negatively, we have people who either by way of the media or travelling around the world have allowed new ideas which are harmful to our nation and our belief," he said.


The bill's sponsor, House of Representatives member Mayor Eze, said the bill was necessary to protect the family. "If you are not careful and allow the family institution to break down, and the consequences will be on all of us," he said.


'Abomination'
Children wearing T-shirts that said "Same sex marriage is un-natural and un-African", and "same sex marriage is an abomination" stood in the aisles of the committee room.
Ekaette Ettang, of the Daughters of Sarah church who provided the T-shirts, denied they were inciting hatred against homosexuals.


"We don't hate gay people, but this is the public's opinion and we have the right to speak," she said.


Activists say gay people in Nigeria face violence from their families and neighbours every day.
Two years ago, a woman went into hiding in the northern Kano State after reports that she had organised a wedding for four women - which she strongly denied.


Also that year 18 men were arrested in the northern city of Bauchi and accused of participating in a "gay wedding".


A Sharia court dismissed the charges and they were charged with the lesser offence of vagrancy.

11th March 2009, Historical Event Shaping Nigeria

9AM

Today, 11th March 2009, the Same Gender Prohibition bill 2008, will be debated by the Public, in what is tagged as the most crucial, cintroversial and popular subject in the country, in the past few weeks both national and foreign media has showed great interest in the matter and there are many reasons for that. For many years Nigerian government and leading religious community leaders have denied the existence of LGBTI people in the nation, it was more serious on the 9th February 2009 after many months of media intrution, speculations and assaults on LGBT people and organisations that the Minister of Justice, Honorable Ojo Maduekwe stood up before the UN review committee and denied any existence of LGBT people in the nation, Now LGBT people, leaders and allies have arrived at the parliament in Abuja Nigeria and at the time of posting this note are seated in the Senate committee room 028 to defend the rights of the LGBT citizens, House Of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church also have two representatives in the Senate, following the entire process. I will keep you posted.

4PM

The debate is now over and the overstretched LGBT delegates and allies are preparing for a press conference with the Media. Many LGBT leaders, Youth and allies stood up in the Parliament to make a case for the rejection of the Same Gender Prohibition Bill 2008, I was informed by our delegates that there were No Muslim or Northerners at the Hearing which is very odd, however there were loads of Anglican Clerics, all dressed for the occasion, this is indicative and evidential of the master minds behind this bill. 80% or more of the presentation were from defenders of LGBT rights, it is believed that more papers were lodged with the Clerk of the House that were not presented today. There are rumours that the bill will pass regardless, however, there has been a dramatic shift in the outlook of the Honorables of the House in their views of the matters of Human Rights especially the Women's Affairs Ministry, who now align their consideration with the Human Right Commission.


I commend the bravery of all who attended, and ask us not to lose sight of our goals, the battle is not over yet. What happens next?, the bill will now go through due process taking into consideration all the views presented today at the hearing, it will take some time before a response is made public. Leading Activists such as Leo Igwe, Director of the Nigerian Humanist Movement and Joseph Akoro, Director of TIP, were joined by new comers to activism such as William Rashidi of Queer Alliance Nigeria, House of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church had two representatives in attendance and the MCC statement was presented eloquently by Barrister Lazarus Aule a defense counsel from Lawyers Alert. Changing Attitude was represented by three or more delegates and their statement was presented by Mr Patrick. The Nigerian and foreign media were present throughout the hearing. Full statements in the Public hearing to the House will be posted soon, watch this space.

Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay

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

Friday, 6 March 2009

Shocking Headlines Ahead of the Public Hearing In Nigeria

http://www.triumphnewspapers.com/same632009.html

There are headlines on the issues in Nigeria, see the above link

Same-sex marriage in Nigeria? Never!... MULAN, others vow

The Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN) says it plans to make a presentation at next week’s Public Hearing on the bill against same sex marriages in the country. Hassan Fajemite, Chairman, Lagos state chapter of MULAN, disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos. ``We are in support of any bill that will completely enforce a ban on same sex marriages in Nigeria.

``Of course, in the penal code which operates in the Northern states and the criminal code which operates in the southern states, same-sex marriages are not allowed.``We plan to make a presentation on the issue at the Public Hearing by the House of Representatives next week in Abuja,’’ he said. Fajemite said same-sex marriages were alien to Africa, while the Islamic religion also forbids it. ``Even the African traditional religion also frowns at such a strange lifestyle.

``Same-sex marriages do not foster procreation. We wonder why anybody in his right mind will support it,’’ he said.When NAN contacted the scribe of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Pastor Wale Adefarasin, on telephone on the issue, he said: ``Whether the Christian faithful in the country will make a representation at the Public Hearing or not, our stand on the issue is clear.``We stand against same-gender marriages and the Bible is against such a lifestyle as it does not glorify God,’’ Adefarasin added.

The Federal Executive Council under ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, approved a draft bill which sought to prohibit same-sex relationships and marriages in January 2006.The bill provided for a prison term of up to five years, without the option of a fine, for anyone who contracts any marriage or has a relationship with a person of the same gender.

Anyone who aids or supports same-sex marriages or relationships would also be liable under the bill.According to reports on the website of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, the then Justice Minister, Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN), also backed the bill, saying that ``same-sex marriages are unAfrican and are prohibited in both the Bible and the Qur’an’’.

Monday, 2 March 2009

The Homophobic Church - Interview with Rev Jide Macaulay


http://www.unitedbyone.co.uk/Publisher/Article.aspx?id=39196&page=1

“Are black churches homophobic?” Yes. When Jide answered this question during our interview he looked at me dead in the eyes. He was calm, articulate and clear in what he had to say. There was no mincing of words as he was simply speaking from his personal experience. You see, Rowland ‘Jide’ Macaulay is a Black, Nigerian, Born-again Christian who openly admits to being gay. He is also an ordained reverend; a man of the cloth. He was once rooted in the Pentecostal church but left the flock disillusioned by the exclusive nature of its congregation. Now aged 40 and living in London , Jide is comfortable accepting who, he believes, he is - an African, gay Christian; a child of God.

The subject of homosexuality is rarely addressed in churches today, even more so the topic of gay/lesbian Christians. Most ministries refuse to accept that lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) individuals can be Born-again Christians. The belief is you cannot profess to walk with Christ if you make a conscious decision to walk in ‘sin’. From many church pulpits there is constant reference to Biblical scriptures like Sodom and Gomorrah which they say illustrates the consequence of this ‘chosen lifestyle’. These sentiments are also echoed in the lyrics of some well-known Gospel songs.

Whether you agree with this or not the fact remains that LGBT communities are often condemned to ‘fire and brimstone’ damnation and ostracism. They are seen as the ultimate of all sinners – ahead of the adulterers, idolaters and gossipmongers. There have even been extreme cases of this 'non-acceptance' with arson attacks on gay-welcoming churches – one such example in Hawaii a few years ago, as reported on 365Gay.com.

The irony of the matter is that the hatred towards LGBT Christians is more likely to come from the black church which was once oppressed by the white community pre-civil rights days. Yet despite this history, the perceived bigotry from the black congregation remains and Jide’s experience is testimony to that.

“When I was growing up, there were no role models and no education about being gay,” explains Jide. “The church was the last place to raise this issue for fear of victimisation, isolation and exorcism. It is commonly said in Africa that ‘It is better to have the corpse of my child, than for me to accept that my child is gay’. Most families believe it is an abuse of traditional values and a sign of western sexual corruption and immorality. Some people even believe it’s a disability or result of occult activity.

"My father is a pastor and bible school lecturer and I was more afraid of his reaction than I was of God, which is not right. I was always aware of my sexual orientation and that I was attracted to boys and as a child I prayed to God to remove this feeling from me. It was a confusing time and I had so many questions in my mind. 'Was it a sickness? If I got married would I be healed?'" Although he grew up in a Christian household, Jide re-dedicated his life to Christ and eventually joined a London Pentecostal church. It was there that he met a woman and after years of dating got married and had a son. Jide’s commitment to God led him to do a Masters degree in theology and was later ordained as a reverend in 1998. He also produced a book called Poetry Inspired in 2001 and carried his poetic ministry across the waters. But despite having a ‘normal’ life he was battling with his sexual orientation and eventually engaged in sexual relations with a man.

“I knew I had to separate from my wife at this point which was a painful, painful experience,” says Jide. “I told her everything. But it really got bad when she told the family and when the church got to know. However the important issue was my child. My sexual orientation has nothing to do with being a good father.”

Jide explained that the ‘out of the closet’ experience was also a battle of religious beliefs and cultural identity. He still loved the Lord but didn’t know of any support systems and so he looked for help in the gay community.

“I didn’t like myself and I wanted to be a whole person,” Jide explains. “However, I found a black gay and lesbian Christian fellowship in South London which I had visited before. They introduced me to the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) and I started to go there in 2002.”

Today, Jide is a part of the ministerial clergy of MCC North London. The church, which has many branches around the world – including parts of Africa – opens its doors to marginalised groups particularly the LGBT community.

“MCC is about Christians winning souls for Christ. It's an inclusive congregation where as many mainstream churches are exclusive. I think the Pentecostal church needs to be honest and realise there is a ministry for the LGBT community. There is also a need to look at the interpretation of the Bible, moral teachings and not to be judgemental.”

Jide’s ‘openness’ suggestion has also been echoed by religious leaders (including Rev Al Sharpton) who attended the Black Church summit in Atlanta, USA, in January. Its focus was on homophobia in the black church and the summit concluded that there is a need to have an open discussion on how to deal with the matter – especially as ‘in the closet’ lesbians and gays are already in church, not just in the choir, but in leadership positions and in the pulpit.

What does the future hold? God only knows. But Jide hopes things will change even though his siblings and father still refuse to accept who he is. “The future? Well, I want to be in full-time ministry, write books, plant churches in Nigeria and reach out to other LGBT Africans. I will also continue being a father to my son and even though I’m single I would love to get married one day!”

Sources http://www.usatoday.com/
http://www.365gay.com/
http://www.mccchurch.org/

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.