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President Zuma Urged to Oppose Nigerian Anti-Gay Law

President Zuma Urged to Oppose Nigerian Anti-Gay Law

South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) is urging President Jacob Zuma to tell Nigerian President Jonathan Goodluck to oppose an anti-gay bill in Nigeria’s parliament.

Kenneth Mubu, DA Spokesperson on International Relations and Co-operation, said:

President Jacob Zuma is set to visit Nigeria on Saturday. He must use this as an opportunity to urge his Nigerian counterpart to veto the bill on the grounds that it violates fundamental human rights.

The protection and promotion of human rights is officially a guiding principle of South Africa’s foreign policy.

It is incumbent on President Zuma to use his position as leader of an influential African nation to promote human rights on the African continent. However, he has thus far repeatedly failed to do so.

Mubu pointed out that South Africa has not condemned the reintroduction of the ‘Kill the Gays’ bill into Uganda’s parliament. It has also appointed an anti-gay journalist, Jon Qwelane, as South African ambassador to Uganda. South Africa is the the only African country that boasts a fully LGBT inclusive constitution.

Says diaspora South African writer Melanie Nathan of the Qwelane appointment:

Despite the fact that [Qwelane] may be “aware” of the Constitution, as the Minister Nkoana-Mashabane suggests, failing a renunciation of his article, which still stands on the record despite the years, reveals the plain fact that the emissary Qwelane, who represents an all inclusive country, remains on the record as the homophobic ambassador to a homophobic country.  Nothing alters that picture; and so DIRCO [Department of International Relations and Cooperation], Minister Nkoana-Mashabane, President Jacob Zuma are complicit in what is clearly Qwelane’s contempt for the South African Constitution.

In September, Jerry Matjila, the newly appointed DIRCO director-general, told The Independent that South Africa’s approach to human rights in Africa would change.

“The president and the minister have told every one of our diplomats that ‘the Bill of Rights is your Bible’,” he said.

“We have a vision to create a better world with more justice and more human rights.”

In June, Matjila sponsored and persuaded the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to adopt a resolution to establish a working group to discuss how human rights law could be used to protect gays.

Many African countries opposed the move but he told them:

Our constitution enjoins us to tackle this issue. Can we keep quiet or not lead? No. We had to. Of course you lose friends and allies, but as a country we feel we have to defend them because it’s the right thing to do.

The Nigerian anti-gay bill, which has passed its first reading in the House of Representatives, would make it a punishable offense — of up to 14-years in prison — for anybody to go to a gay bar, to work for or be involved with LGBT organizations, or to be in an openly gay relationship.

Anyone who doesn’t report men or women living together — a ‘gay marriage’ in this bill — would also be punished. The bill appears to punish anyone supporting LGBT human rights, or even writing about gay people.

Related stories:

Obama Admin to ‘Leverage’ Foreign Aid for LGBT Rights

Richard Branson Amongst Protesters Against Nigerian Anti-Gay Bill

“True South African” Comment Spurs Equal Rights Protectors

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53 comments

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2:21PM PST on Dec 13, 2011

This is why modern "democracies" have constitutions, to protect the minority from the majority. democracy without it equals "mobocracy".

10:36AM PST on Dec 12, 2011

You can't outlaw a birth defect...what is blindness outlawed there too? I don't understand how people 'blame' people for being gay....if you think it is 'immoral' or perfect a-ok..either way, ya can't blame someone for something they can't help.

2:18PM PST on Dec 11, 2011

If I ever see anything resembling gay rights in Nigeria in my life time, it would be a miracle.

5:59AM PST on Dec 11, 2011

""I see that humans who kills animals for any reason are breaking the Ethical Laws of the Universe
""

so how do tell people living a hunter-gatherer life "stoooppp iitttttttttttt" how do you tell an Eskimo to move south and grow oranges and stop eating seals?

12:22AM PST on Dec 11, 2011

In a world where minorities are at risk of being ostrasized it is unwise to broadcast ones preferences. This goes not only for Gays but for all weak and vulnerable minorities like the sick , crippleg, deaf, blind , elderly, the sick, the pregnant , but also the religious. Please people , realise .others have no right to know your private world. With a Nazie UN depopulation 21 on the agenda on the rampage I would be very reluctant to stand out in any way, because as happened during the Third Reich all those who stood out and were in minority were unceremoniously exterminated.

12:00AM PST on Dec 11, 2011

Why can't people jiust be happy to be alive and stop this crap?
Thanks Paul

11:54PM PST on Dec 10, 2011

plain sad

11:42PM PST on Dec 10, 2011

It's a shame this is still an issue anywhere in the world

11:17PM PST on Dec 10, 2011

Tolerance allows a lot of things to prosper-individuals, the economy, ideas, and, yes, religion. The US has no religious mandates and is one of the most religious nations. Get the state involved in judging morality and all of the above are crushed.

11:16PM PST on Dec 10, 2011

All sentient beings and all life, for that matter, have the rights to live freely via whatever material bodies that they inhabit, as long as they are no threat to any other being. I see that humans who kills animals for any reason are breaking the Ethical Laws of the Universe, while those who kill animals or who eat them, wear their fur, torture or traumatize them do now see this at all! I see people who scream that abortions are killing life care nothing for human beings who actually are born into the world, and they even hurt them, deny them their rights. I can not see how anyone can claim to know that whatever thoughts their brains have ar facts, when they have not become harm-free, non-interfering seekers who meditate and transcend the brain, go within the higher realms of consciousness. If any of these people who judge others or harm others were to go to these places while still in a material body, they would see that there is no separation, and we come into our various material bodies for reasons tat are quite noble. These thoughts of placing themselves in positions to condemn any life would diminish immediately, as we all are working together in this Creation.

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