The bill started out as a ban on same-sex marriage and has been revised to make it a crime for more than two gay people to be in the same venue at the same time.
It prohibits LGBT social or civil rights groups from forming. It would be illegal to sell or rent property to same-sex couples, watch a gay film or video, visit an LGBT web site, or express same-sex love in a letter to one’s partner.
The legislation goes so far as to make it a criminal offense to impart information of HIV/AIDS to gays or for non-gays to meet with any group of gays for any purpose.
It’s not enough, apparently that same-sex activity is already illegal in Nigeria, and punishable by up to 14 years in prison, or that it’s now illegal for Nigerian gays to travel abroad, say to Canada, in order to marry. But something about the description of the bill struck me as strangely familiar; like something out of history.
It was the part about making it a crime for more than two gay people to be in the same venue at the same time. It bugged me for a minute, why this sounded familiar, and why it seemed particularly ironic coming from an African country, until I realized that it sounded like any number of slave codes from right here in the United States that, among other things, mad it a crime to for blacks gather in numbers, gathering at night, or gathering without a white person present, out of fear they might organize a revolt or start giving one another ideas about freedom and equality.
Maybe I’m reaching a bit here, but I couldn’t help seeing the parallels myself. And, continuing a theme from a previous post, it seemed something worth pointing out as something that African Americans who are attracted to the religious right in this country — whom Ed points out praise Nigeria as an example of how to handle gay issues — might want to keep in mind, since that praise also hinges upon a literal interpretation of the same bible that (at the very least) doesn’t prohibit slavery, and some of those same conservative religious folks see the American slave trade as not such a bad thing.
Something worth thinking about, anyway.