Homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria. Carnal knowledge with another person against the order of nature is punishable by a maximum of 14 years imprisonment. Sharia law in the Muslim north can impose a punishment of stoning to death. Social attitudes to homosexuality are hostile, treating it as a taboo.
In April 2006 the “Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, 2006” was introduced to the House of Representatives aimed at banning same-sex marriage, gay organisations, public assembly and advocacy for gay rights. The Church of Nigeria was believed to be instrumental in introducing the Act and has campaigned in support. The Act, however, has never passed into Law.
The Church of Nigeria has yet to engage in the Listening Process called for by the Lambeth Conference in 1998 and has campaigned against homosexuality in the Anglican Communion.
Changing Attitude Nigeria
Changing Attitude Nigeria was founded in August 2005 by Davis Mac-Iyalla, a member of St Andrew’s Church Bakana, Niger Delta, a lay reader and a Knight of the Church. CA Nigeria organized a First General Meeting in Abuja in November 2005 and rapidly developed with groups meeting in 10 different cities. The publicity which followed the General Meeting attracted the attention of the Church of Nigeria which began a campaign of persecution against Davis Mac-Iyalla and Changing Attitude Nigeria.
The group has achieved significant goals. LGBT Anglicans in Nigeria have achieved an impact in the Anglican Communion’s debate about human sexuality. The Church has stopped claiming that homosexuality is unknown in Africa. It has been forced to admit that LGBT people are present in the Church. Changing Attitude estimates that there are over 700,000 LGBT Anglicans members of the Church of Nigeria.
A number of CA Nigeria members were part of the LGBT presence at the Lambeth Conference 2008. They took part in an African LGBT Anglican witness on campus followed by an official presentation. For the first time, Nigerian LGBT Anglicans witnessed their faith and sexual identities in the presence of bishops.
Stories from inside Nigeria
We receive news of what is happening inside Nigeria today from Changing Attitude’s new leader. We’ll be bringing updates and stories from the country here soon.