Last week, LifeSiteNews reported that efforts to protect traditional marriage in Nigeria were coming under attack from gay rights activists in the European Union:
The European Union’s Intergroup on “gay rights” has demanded that all foreign aid to Nigeria be suspended after that country’s House of Representatives voted to prohibit attempts to create legal “gay marriage.” The Nigerian vote was unanimous this week in favor of a bill that “prohibits marriage between persons of same gender, solemnisation of same and other matters related therewith.”
And because there has never been an anti-gay measure anywhere that he couldn’t find a way of supporting, Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel was quick to commend the Nigerian legislature for its bold stand and blast those who dare criticize the legislation as “homo-fascists”:
“The European Union has certainly been infiltrated by homo-fascists. There’s just no doubt about it,” he contends. “They are using that body to essentially try to push the international homosexual agenda down the throats of countries that respect traditional values relative to sexual morality.”
Barber believes Nigeria and any other country ought to be free to express its own culture without outside interference.
Like so much of the “news” reported by right-wing outlets, coverage of this legislation was exceedingly misleading both about the nature of the bill and the international opposition to it. As Human Rights Watch explained:
On January 15, 2009, the Nigerian House of Representatives voted favorably on the second reading of a bill “to prohibit marriage between persons of same gender.” The bill would punish people of the same sex who live together “as husband and wife or for other purposes of same sexual relationship” with up to three years of imprisonment. Anyone who “witnesses, abet[s] and aids” such a relationship could be imprisoned for up to five years.
“This bill masquerades as a law on marriage, but in fact it violates the privacy of anyone even suspected of an intimate relationship with a person of the same sex,” said Georgette Gagnon, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “It also threatens basic freedoms by punishing human rights defenders who speak out for unpopular causes.”
HRW reports that Nigerian law already mandates up to “14 years of imprisonment for anyone who ‘has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” and Amnesty International says the legislation “can only promote acts of hatred.”
This bill is not about “protecting marriage” – it’s about throwing gays and lesbians in jail.
Yet to Barber, that is perfectly okay because what is important is protecting “traditional values” from the “homo-fascists” who are out to destroy sexual morality.