Two weeks ago, when I heard, in Lagos, that Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan had signed an anti-gay bill into law, a Nigerian friend archly commented, “I don’t know why people are surprised.” She had a point: the homophobia and anti-gay violence in the country are among the worst I’ve encountered in Africa. Cell-phone videos have recently surfaced online of gays being publicly beaten by mobs. The move was jarring and disappointing, nonetheless. The law bans same-sex relationships, outlaws gay-rights activism, and mandates prison sentences of up to fourteen years for gays. There is little question that Jonathan, who is facing public disapproval over charges of inefficiency, corruption, and a badly fought war against Boko Haram Islamists waging a terror campaign in the north, seized the legislation as a popular, unifying distraction. The influence of American right-wing Christians on the drafting of anti-gay bills on the continent has also been significant.
Continua a leggere qui.