Rev. Jide Macaulay, an openly gay Uk-based Nigerian pastor, has addressed the issue of society generally and queer Christians particularly rejecting homosexuality on the basis of some religious beliefs.
Homosexuality is expressly prohibited in Nigeria. A 2014 law banned sexual relationships between persons of the same sex. Offenders risk being jailed for 14 years.
The law, Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act (SSMPA) was enacted on the premise that the Nigerian culture is antithetical to homosexuality.
With the population of the country largely divided between Christians and Muslims, there was also a religious urgency to the prohibition of gay relationships.
Following the enactment of this law, LGBTQ persons in Nigeria remain in fear of being hunted down like criminals.
The law has had an insidious effect on individual self-expression as LGBTQ persons adopt self-censoring behavior by significantly and consciously altering their gender presentation to avoid detection or suspicion by members of the public and to avoid arrest and extortion.
Given that Nigeria is a hotbed of homophobia, many queer people live in anonymity or outrightly reject their sexual orientation for fear of exposure to attacks, rejection by family members, and death threats.
Addressing the rejection of homosexuality based on religious beliefs, Rev. Jide, 56, said that those who reject homosexuality do so out of fear and ignorance of God’s love.
The founder and CEO of House of Rainbow, a welcoming ministry for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) people, took to Instagram to educate queer Christians on the need for self-acceptance.
“There is so much to learn for our own liberation, as queer Christians. Too often those who reject homosexuality do so from a place of fear and ignorance of the love of God.” he wrote on Sunday, March 13.
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