Posted on | January 2, 2012 by Wendy Wright |
Nigeria is a fiercely divided country experiencing turmoil and violence. Yet one issue that unites people across religions and political parties is banning same-sex marriage. The US and UK, however, are threatening to withhold humanitarian aid from countries like Nigeria that bar homosexual and transgender conduct.
If government officials bend to these demands, it will likely create more dissension and instability within Nigeria and other dependent countries susceptible to this pressure.
This year alone hundreds have been violently killed in terrorist attacks in Nigeria. On top of the sectarian discord, President Goodluck Jonathan faces other contentious issues. It is at this difficult time that the UK and US decided to force Jonathan to choose between appeasing them or following the will of Nigerian citizens.
Recently, the Nigerian Senate unanimously approved legislation banning same-sex marriage, and the House of Representatives is expected to pass it soon. President Jonathan will have 30 days to sign it into law.
Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. Western leaders apparently fear that other countries will follow its lead.
In October, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to suspend humanitarian aid to countries that ban homosexuality. Yet last May, at a G-8 summit in France, Cameron had insisted that UK would not decrease its foreign aid even to oil-rich Arab countries, saying “we risk giving oxygen to the extremists who prey on the frustrations and aspirations of young people,” and he was proud that the UK would not “balance its books on the back of the poorest.”
C-FAM has heard reports of US officials as high up as Secretary of State Susan Rice explicitly threatening small countries at the UN to adopt pro-homosexual policies. A homosexual website confirmed the rumors with its own account stating:
“It was also clear from investigative reporting at UN HQ that many of the no-shows, abstentions or yes votes of various countries during key UN LGBT rights votes was largely down to US diplomatic pressure. This showed how both US and European pressures on LGBT rights is already happening, and working, in a year which saw extensive simplified and often inaccurate reporting on the use of such ‘leverage’, like the supposed ‘colonialist’ tying of development aid to LGBT rights.
Not all homosexual advocates endorse the unabashed strong-arming by the US and UK of vulnerable countries. One pro-homosexual blogger notes that “cutting off aid can devastate the region, plunging it into a humanitarian crisis that will affect LGBT folks, as well.”
“But it would be a mistake to think that if aid is cut, the lives of LGBT people in Africa would be better. I’m not sure if it’s possible, but they could become worse. The countries are often on the brink of collapse and chaos, due to crushing poverty, corrupt governments and looming tribal war. Pulling whatever aid that reaches these people might cause a humanitarian disaster that would destabilize the region and plunge the people into years of suffering.”