While President Obama has been on a tear lately with his openly gay appointees to ambassadorships around the world, one country that is not having any of it is Nigeria. Following a statement from the Minister of Foreign Affairs that the West African nation would begrudgingly accept gay diplomats and their spouses, the Christian Association of Nigeria has vowed to “mobilize to chase” out any gay diplomat that sets foot in their precious land.
Nigeria is one of the 38 countries in Africa where homosexuality is illegal and it recently passed a bill to further harshen its institutionalized discrimination. The so-called “Jail All the Gays” bill seeks to imprison anyone who shows same-sex “public affection” for ten years in Africa’s most populous nation. So it came as a bit of a shock when Minister of Foreign Affairs Olugbenga Ashiru apparently welcomed prospective gay diplomats.
“Nigeria is not against any country for legalizing gay marriage, but in our country, given our customs and traditions, as well as religious beliefs, marriage as ordained by God is between a man and a woman,” Ashiru reportedly said. “But if we have diplomats with same sex spouses posted to Nigeria, we have no choice but to accredit them accordingly because they come from countries where such law is in place.”
The Foreign Ministry denied Ashiru’s alleged comments, but not before CAN released a statement effectively saying No CAN do to that idea and calling for President Goodluck Jonathan to dismiss Ashiru from his post:
Our attention has been drawn to reports in the media credited to the minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru where he said that Nigeria will accept foreign diplomats who are gay.
To us, this is ridiculous and unacceptable and we are seriously disturbed because for the first time, Nigerian Muslims and Christians have agreed that they don’t subscribe to gay marriage.
If we have said no to it, why will anybody try to smuggle it through the back door? [Ed. note: That's what she said.]
The National Assembly has said no, every stakeholder in this country has said no. So for the minister to make that kind of statement, it means he is opposed to the wishes of the Nigerian people and we are calling on the President to remove him from office. We want to make it abundantly clear, be it America or Britain or any country that sends a gay diplomat to Nigeria; we will mobilize to chase him out of the country.
Obama has nominated noted heterosexual James Entwistle for an ambassadorship to Nigeria so he and his wife likely won’t be chased out of the country. However, Obama’s selection of the openly gay James “Wally” Brewster to the Dominican Republic elicited disapproval from that country’s Roman Catholic leader. Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, showing the providence in God’s infinite love, referred to Brewster as a faggot and warned that he will “suffer” and be forced to leave.
Yeezus H. Christ, whatever happened to hospitality? Sounds like these religious leaders can use a course or two in…diplomacy.