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Nigerian professor: gay relationships create mental retardation

I’m sorry, this is deranged. As the Nigerian goverment debates a bill to demonize gays, Friday Okonofua is the kind of “expert” showing up at public hearings. (The Tide Online [Nigeria]):

About four per cent of Nigerians are involved in same sex relationship, Special Adviser to the President, Prof Friday Okonofua, has said.

Okonofa disclosed this at a public hearing on a bill to prohibit same sex marriage and relationship, organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Women Affairs, in Abuja.

…Such relationship, he said, had exposed those engaged in it to high risk of contacting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), HIV/AIDS and cancer.

The same sex relationships, he said, caused mental retardation, depression and high tendency to commit suicide.

With this sort of logic at play, Matt at Political Spaghetti points out, there is almost zero chance of any rational discussion occurring in Nigeria about homosexuality and civil rights at this stage in the game over this bill.

The level of misunderstanding of homosexuality is so extensive in Nigeria that most lack even the basic tools to debate the subject intelligently. It’s quite one thing to have firm religious convictions against homosexual practice (I have no problem with their beliefs), but it’s quite another to play fast and loose with the facts when the speech, assembly, press, free expression of religion rights of “4%” of Nigeria’s population are on the line. (For all you islamophobes out there who like to point to Shar’iya when justifying Akinola’s support of this bill — notice NO MENTION OF ISLAM in The Tide’s coverage.)

Hat tip, Shakes.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding