Nigerians have started reacting to the latest memorandum signed by United States President, Joe Biden, aimed at expanding protection of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) people worldwide, including potentially through the use of financial sanctions.
In January 2014, Nigeria’s ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan, signed the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, prescribing between 10 and 14 years in prison for cohabitation between same-sex sexual partners, public show of same-sex relationship, registration, operation or participation in gay clubs, societies and organisation, amongst others.
As a predominantly conservative country, it is unlikely that Nigeria would revisit its anti-gay marriage law to strengthen bilateral relations with the United States.
However, the Biden Presidency threatens “swift and meaningful” responses, including financial sanctions against countries found guilty of human rights abuses of LGBTQI+ persons.
Nigerians have taken to social media to condemn this decision, especially with predictions that this might affect the visa ban on migrants from such a country to the US.
Twitter user, Pharm @sleekpharm wrote, “Gay again? Can’t America respect our sovereignty as a nation? Why so obsessed with other people’s sexuality?”
NigeriaIs4UsAll @cvickright posted, “Mr @JoeBiden, it would be great if you let Africans be, respect our choice of sexuality. It’s better we marry more wives than to be doing gay things. Stay off our coast.”
Twitter user, Georgey Boy @Georgey79248715, accused the United States of simply trying to impose their culture on Nigerians. He said it was high time black people united and acted differently to avoid interference by other countries. His tweet read, “They wanted Biden in, one chance people, now he wants to impose what is against our culture on us. Black people should know it is time for us to unite and do our own thing without others interferring all the time.”
Nwa Chinaemelu @NNwazota said, “The same white man that brought religion to colonise us as their only tool to achieve their aims, is trying to force their gay tradition on us. Gay does not belong to Africa.”
For Emmanuel Manasseh @Mremmymanny, he knew the exit of former US President, Donald Trump, would bring back pressure from the country on African leaders to accept rights.
He said, “I saw this coming when people were against Donald Trump. This is just the beginning: more crazy policies to come.”
Femi Jeffery @femijeffery opined that gay rights in Nigeria will affect the system due to the existence of peer pressure.
“Imagine having to raise a child in an environment filled with media propaganda on how cool being gay is. We know that Nigeria is seriously affected by the problem of peer pressure. It won’t be an argument of being born gay, it would be about people being manipulated to become one.”
Bendel @s_bendel said, “White people only doing the will of their true father, Lucifer, in helping to depopulate the world by any means necessary.”
D-Rebellion Freedom Fighter @FreedomRebelliom said, “The US government is just about to lose their respect if they try to force any country into buying into their psychopathic homosexuality policy. We already have a lot of crazy people in Nigeria and we don’t need such nonsense as it is not ethical. Even Biden won’t be alive today if his parents were gay.”
Other users like Ninti @ninti31 believe that there are other weightier issues than imposing policies that encourage gay rights on the Nigerian government. She wrote, “Instead of threatening sanctions against killing of innocent citizens and human rights infringements.”
Perostikal @darealchinedu is also of this view, he said, “No sanctions over the killings but want to invoke sanction over boygirl laws.”
Obagbemisoye Joseph Adeoluwa @joetfx tweeted, “@POTUS There are tons of problems in Nigeria. Our plunging economy requires you place a visa ban on our politicians, their families & force your allies to do so. We have a Venezuela-like situation in our hands with terrorism as a bonus package. May God give you more wisdom.”
Another user, Chibreezy @chibreezy4, like a typical Nigerian, quoted a verse of the scripture to criticise this stance of the United States. He said, “This one is not my business. I fear God and I have no reason to be gay because If I love him I will keep his commandments.
“Call on him while He may still be found for not everyone who says Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of God. If I die tomorrow, I will be ready to meet him.”
L.O. Johnson @JohnLikinyo wrote, “They want to turn the world into Sodom, it won’t work until after the rapture then if you find yourself left behind then, you will have to face the tribulation. Accept Jesus Christ today as your Lord and saviour to escape the dangerous period as the Bible says. 1 Thessalonians 4:16.”