#RepealSSMPA: LGBT Advocate Victor Emmanuel Takes A Powerful Stance In The Fight Against Nigeria’s Homophobia

#RepealSSMPA: LGBT Advocate Victor Emmanuel Takes A Powerful Stance In The Fight Against Nigeria’s Homophobia

Following the news that a group of men who were attending a party in Anambra State were arrested by the police on March 8, an arrest that is being reported as the shutdown of a gay party, LGBT advocate Victor Emmanuel has taken the protest for the repeal of the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act to the National Assembly.

Yesterday, March 20, he uploaded on Twitter a now-viral video condemning the law which was signed by the former president, Goodluck Jonathan, and its impact on the lives of queer Nigerians.

“Every other day, Nigerians, armed with state-facilitated homophobia, go out of their way to harm, harass and assault LGBT, well-meaning citizens of this country,” he said. “The current same-sex marriage prohibition act, which was signed into law by the former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has a 14-year imprisonment sentence. Now, this is the same period of time that rapists are sentenced to jail, which means queer people, for just existing, can go to jail for the same amount of time that rapists go for raping people. None of this is okay.”

He went on to state that he is going on “an indefinite hunger strike until that bill, the SSMPA is repealed. So yes, I will not eat until my body gives out or until that law is repealed. I am currently on the grounds of the National Assembly of this country and I am going to be here protesting every single day until that law is repealed. Because this is the same building where that law went through before it was signed by the former president.”

The SSMPA is a legacy of President Jonathan, which he himself has somewhat condemned in 2016. During a forum at Bloomberg’s European headquarters in London, the former president, during his speech on democracy in Nigeria and Africa, acknowledged that there is need for equality in Nigeria saying that the “issue of sexual orientation is still evolving” and that Nigeria may revisit the law that criminalizes same-sex marriages, gay groups and public displays of affection by gay people in Nigeria; a law that has also legitimized violence against queer Nigerians.

“When it comes to equality, we must all have the same rights as Nigerian citizens,” Jonathan said.

And today, Victor Emmanuel is reminding Nigerians that queer Nigerian lives matter.

“I am not asking anyone to join me physically in protest,” he said, “but if you’re queer, an ally or you’re just a human being who isn’t wicked enough to actually think we deserve 14-years imprisonment for just existing, then I ask you to join me on this journey and send this message to the government: REPEAL THE SSMPA. QUEER LIVES MATTER IN NIGERIA. We die every single day at the hands of citizens and at the hands of authorities. We are not going to keep being silent.”

The video, which has gone viral, sparked a lot of debates on Twitter, with a lot of outpouring of support and concern for Emmanuel interspersed with criticisms about how this isn’t the right time for such advocacy: criticism that is reminiscent of the time during the #EndSARS protests last year when an attempt was made to shut down the voice of queer Nigerians involved in the movement.

To these voices of dissent, Victor had this to say:

And so, if you are queer, an ally or simply a human being who isn’t wicked enough to actually think we deserve 14-years imprisonment, do kindly CLICK HERE to sign this petition that asks for the repeal of the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Law.

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  1. Mandy
    March 22, 07:00 Reply

    I admire this guy’s courage and determination, his spirit and advocacy. I admire that just like this blog and several other forums that gay Nigerians are using to fight Nigeria’s homophobia, there are people like Victor Emmanuel saying “Enough is enough”. I do hope that all out efforts will come together to give us what we want most: the freedom to live and to love in this country.

  2. Nuelz
    March 22, 07:08 Reply

    It’s very BOLD of him, I applaud him truly there is never a right time. The time can only be now, but it takes lots of courage to act.

  3. Rudy
    March 22, 07:30 Reply

    As one wise man said, “The Power Struggle Will Go On, Until Right Overcomes Wrong”.

    Clearly the biggest balls I’ve seen in broad day light!

    Hopefully this sinks in the minds of this wicked frustrated leaders and homophobic population.

    But alas, who am I fooling?

    • Pearl peace
      March 23, 19:23 Reply

      Please I think the authority should clear the air as it concerns freedom of association,,,if one lives a particular kind of life,,n the existence doesn’t inflict wounds on a government,, the government should allow such freedom,,,they should think of making Nigeria a better place to live,,,one factor is to allow people to be free to choose their marital status,,,,
      Gay relationship doesn’t build the bad road
      Gay relationship doesn’t stop election
      Gay relationship doesn’t give rise to petroleum problems
      Gay relationship doesn’t devalue niara against dollars
      Think of all these n others n allow people to be free n live their good life fit for them
      Not every individual were destined to involve in opposite marriage

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