What Price, Culture?

The world is talking about the recent signing into law of Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage Prohibition bill. Perhaps unsurprisingly, significantly more of us Nigerians seem to be in support of the new law than against it.

But stories of police rounding up ‘gay suspects’ to torture confessions from them, and the particular incident of a young man who was publicly flogged, have sent chills down my spine. We mustn’t forget that these are our children, our sons and our brothers.

All too often as a nation, I think we allow ourselves to be swept along by high emotion and popular sentiment, not stopping to consider what we do, why we do it, or the implications of our actions. We justify this refusal to debate, usually, by brandishing culture or religion. Where one fails, the other usually does the trick. And when both guns blaze, I generally find that at the root of that protest lies fear.

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