Author Topic: When bashing Russia over gays, don’t forget Nigeria, Uganda …  (Read 10236 times)


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The Western media is having a field day during the Sochi Olympics — attacking Russian president Vladimir Putin for his stand against so-called gay “propaganda.” But the media have a way of overlooking countries that are far more aggressive in outlawing homosexuals.

Take Nigeria, for example. It recently brought in laws that are much worse than those in Russia.

Nigeria, which has a population of 168 million, adopted a law that imposes a 14-year prison term for anyone entering into a same-sex relationship, as well as a 10-year sentence for anyone found to support gay clubs or meetings. Even public displays of affection by gays and lesbians is considered a crime.

Indeed, homosexuality is illegal in 38 African countries.

In contrast, Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson, who is openly homosexual, spent time in Sochi earlier this month at a gay bar, which operates without official sanction.

The West has always got a kick out of attacking Russia, partly for its old Soviet ties and ongoing authoritarianism. And there is little concern in the West about being called “racist” for mocking Russians, since most of the world’s 148 million Russians are white. Many are also Russian Orthodox, a denomination that is not strong in the West.

But what really explains the relative silence about the much more extreme laws against homosexuals in places such as Nigeria, which is almost entirely made up of blacks, Christians and Muslims?

Cameroon, Tanzania and Uganda have similarly brutish laws.

An excellent story by Religion News Service writer David Gibson points to the division among Catholic church leaders in Africa over the anti-homosexual law in Nigeria, where one of the country’s top Catholics enthusiastically supporting it. This is in a whole different category about what you hear regarding Russia and homosexuals. Here’s an excerpt from the RNS piece:

    In Nigeria the leader of the Catholic hierarchy fully supported that country’s new law, which prompted a wave of violence against gays when it passed.
    Nigeria's Roman Catholic archbishop Ignatius Kaigama

    Nigeria’s Roman Catholic archbishop Ignatius Kaigama called it “courageous and wise” to send people in homosexual relationships to jail. Russia’s laws are far less draconian.

    In a January letter on behalf of the Catholic hierarchy of Nigeria, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos praised Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan for his “courageous and wise decision” in signing the legislation.

    Kaigama said it would protect Nigeria “against the conspiracy of the developed world to make our country and continent, the dumping ground for the promotion of all immoral practices.”

    A few days later, however, a strongly worded editorial in the The Southern Cross, a newspaper run jointly by the bishops of South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland, took aim at the new law, calling on the Catholic Church in Africa “to stand with the powerless” and “sound the alarm at the advance throughout Africa of draconian legislation aimed at criminalizing homosexuals.”

On a related note, Der Spiegel has just published a brilliant editorial headlined: “Sochi Schadenfreude: ‘Ha Ha, The Russians Screwed It Up Again!’

The editorial in the excellent German news magazine questions why journalists in the West are working so hard to bash Russia’s Winter Games, especially given that the citizens of the host city and country are trying very hard to be hospitable.

Someone on Facebook also directed me to an article on the way American journalists in particular are hammering Russia, Sochi and Putin (not that the latter, in particular, doesn’t deserve criticism). It’s called “Distorting Russia.”


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Re: When bashing Russia over gays, don’t forget Nigeria, Uganda …
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2016, 05:51:44 PM »
Realistically I think we have to understand countries that don't want "gay liberation" movements -- and IMHO that's really really what's at issue here. Most societies have some level of tolerance for discreet gayness, but when the harpies start parading naked and demolishing the existing culture and legal system it just polarizing everything. Ruins it, really.

All liberally-approved movements have polarization at their core. It didn't have to be this way, but it is. I suspect tolerance would have evolved without the militants' help, just as slavery was phased out in numerous societies like our own without a melodramatic bankers' war meaninglessly costing 650,000 lives. America is a land of extremes, usually involving violence.