Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bishop T.D. Jakes and Others Welcome Gay and Lesbian Christians

Leading African American Pentecostal Leaders; Bishops T.D. Jakes and Harry Jackson, Jr, etc Welcomes Gay and Lesbian Christians.

Both Bishop T.D. Jakes and Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. are vibrant African American pastors with large multicultural congregations and enormous influence over portions of America's faith community. Yet their behavior toward the families of the American Family Outing has been very different.

Bishop Jakes and Bishop Jackson received similar letters from Soulforce and our partnering organizations in December, 2007, and March, 2008. Both letters asked the bishops to participate in a time of fellowship -- to break bread and have conversation with same-gender families. (Links to letters below.)

Bishop T.D. Jakes and his staff responded to our letters with honesty and integrity. During our visit, we felt true Christian hospitality and a willingness to engage those with whom they differ with respect and dignity. Bishop Jakes personally telephoned Jeff Lutes to thank him for the positive manner in which Soulforce had approached him for dialogue and he agreed that further conversation was important. The welcome offered to our visiting group was consistent with Bishop Jakes' commentary (April 14, 2008) in which he wrote:

"It has always been my goal and purpose to be a bridge builder and to not build walls. It is in that spirit that I would plead with the church to seek common ground rather than to focus on irrelevant and often erroneous information that seeks to divide."

The experience with Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. was markedly different. Bishop Jackson called Jeff Lutes on May 2, 2008, and agreed to our written request for dinner, conversation, and worship with members of his church. In a charming and friendly tone, he asked that we simply call his staff with the total number of people in our party so they could prepare the appropriate amount of food. Then, on May 21, 2008, three days before the meeting, Jackson's High Impact Leadership Coalition issued a press release falsely claiming that Soulforce was planning a protest and demonstration outside his church and that he had invited us to dinner and a "debate." On Friday night, May 23, twenty-four hours before the dinner, Soulforce received an email from Hope Christian outlining a specific debate-style format in which each group would ask eight questions to the other. Nonetheless, our courageous and beautiful LGBT families proceeded in the spirit of love and nonviolence.

Bishop Jackson concluded the meeting with the following remarks:
"I want to thank you tonight for coming. Again, if you had not invited us originally, if you had not insisted on the dialogue, it never would have happened. And I am thankful for the spirit in which you have said you were going to operate and in which you have operated thus far. Again, we did not know whether you were coming in peace or whether you were coming with a sword. We had no way of knowing that, we really didn't. And so we are very thankful for this opportunity to dialogue with you, and I believe that we have learned quite a bit from this time together."
In contrast to the conciliatory tone of these remarks, Bishop Jackson then granted a Tuesday, May 27 interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, called our families "irrational," and falsely characterized the spirit of our meeting.

When we reach out to mega-church congregations in a spirit of nonviolence, we commit to interacting with authenticity and openness. At times, when our interlocutors are in the grip of misinformation so profound that they do not treat us with respect and integrity, it is tempting to close up, to withdraw, to become defensive -- and yet we persist. Why? Not because we are naïve, but because we believe that, ultimately, no misinformation or slander can obscure the goodness and authenticity of our families and our quest for justice.

Video of Bishop Harry Jackson with our Families and CBN Interview Afterwards

Letter to T.D. Jakes, Letter to Harry Jackson, Second Letter to Hope Christian

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fear Continues To Lurk Among Nigerian Gays

Fear Continues To Lurk Among Nigerian Gays
By Lesego Masike on May 28, 2008

NIGERIA – May 28, 2008: Reverend Jide Macaulay of House of Rainbow, who is gay, fears for his life following death threats he received after Nigeria’s PM News published his picture alongside an article titled ‘Homosexual Act Not Against Bible’.

Written by Samuel Ateba, the story which appeared on PM News’s front page on 12 May followed an exclusive interview that Macaulay had with Mo Abudu’s on A Moment with Mo talk show discussing homosexuality.

The article states that Macaulay admitted to being gay since he was 14 and that he openly declared that he practices sodomy which the Bible is not against.

But Rev Macaulay denies speaking to Ateba, and declared the story incorrect.

“I did not give an interview to the journalist. Two people approached me asking for an interview and my picture [however] I declined”, said Macaulay.

However, editor of PM News, Lanr Babanona, is adamant that the article is true and that the reporter did speak to Macaulay.

“Of course my reporter did speak to him, and I believe that he was only expressing Macaulay’s views in the article.”

Asked if he is aware of homophobic attacks that could be sparked by this article, Babanona said; “Even though their behavior is considered abnormal, the Nigerian society is very accommodative.”

But it appears homophobic responses were echoed after a second article about the Reverend was published by the same publication. Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie described Reverend Macaulay as someone who does not know the Biblical principles.

He further emphasised that “when God created the world, he made them male and female, and asked them to increase and multiply.”

Okogie who expressed his shock to PM News said that he could not believe that “such a comment could be made by a man who claimed to be a man of God.”

The Archbishop advised all religious groups in Nigeria to be “quick in fishing out such fake pastors so that sanity can be guaranteed in Christendom.”

Meanwhile, two Nigerian gay men are presently in hiding after announcing at their engagement ceremony about their intention to wed in June this year.

Rev Macaulay inserts that the number of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people who want to get married is growing but there is no exact number as “many people have private unions.”

Now the couple, including Reverend Jide Macaulay whom they invited to officiate their wedding, are receiving anonymous threats warning them not to go on with the wedding.

The threats, coming from people claiming to be part of the Nigerian police, are now perceived by Macaulay as a threat of violence towards the Nigerian LGBTI community.

According to Macaulay many LGBTI couples in Nigeria “simply wish to exchange vows of commitment and love with their life partners.”

But since the Nigerian government has not authorised same-sex marriages, “many gay and lesbian people get married secretly”, added Macaulay.

He further added that, “same-sex unions won’t be against the government laws of Nigeria since there is no law that bars same-sex unions.”

Officially, there is no law that prevents same-sex unions in Nigeria, but currently there is the Same-sex Marriage Prohibition Bill which has been sitting with the Justice Committee for more than a year now for review.

The Bill, which was introduced by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, forbids LGBTI people from entering into same-sex marriages and also punishes those who aid, preside over or witness such an event.

Macaulay advised that even though a bill legalising homosexuality is not passed, there should be such a bill in place to curb homophobia.

On the other hand, 18 Nigerian men arrested on charges of indecent dressing and vagrancy in August last year are out on bail and due to appear in court on 4 June 2008.

The men aged between 18 and 21 were arrested in Bauchi at Denco Hotel during what seemed to be a same-sex wedding.

But they were since out on bail, and their latest appearance in court in April this year was adjourned.

If found guilty, these 18 gay men will have to face one year imprisonment or thirty lashes.

But the LGBTI activists who have been following on the case intend to seek dismissal of the case due to lack of evidence.

According to Rev Macaulay the LGBTI community of Nigeria is shocked by these incidents.

“The LGBTI community is haunted by these incidents and are afraid to gather but they still have to go on with life”, he concluded.

Press Release: AIDS Implementers Must Address Human Rights

Press Release:
AIDS Implementers Must Address Human Rights

OSIEA and LAHI 28 May 2008****************

KAMPALA — The upcoming HIV/AIDS Implementers’ Meeting in Uganda mustaddress the widespread human rights abuses and lack of legal servicesfueling the country’s HIV epidemic, according to a new report releasedtoday by the Open Society Initiative for East Africa (OSIEA) and OSI’s Lawand Health Initiative (LAHI).“As a global leader in HIV prevention and treatment, Uganda must set abetter example on HIV and human rights,” said Binaifer Nowrojee, OSIEAdirector. “Uganda cannot effectively respond to the AIDS crisis withoutprotecting the rights of the most marginalized members of society.”The report, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, and Legal Services in Uganda, documentscommon abuses faced by people living with AIDS or at high risk of HIV,including: barriers to employment or education; discrimination in gainingaccess to medical care; violations of the right to medical privacy; forcedHIV testing; and eviction from housing.

According to the report, while the government of Uganda has addressed themedical effects of the HIV epidemic, it has paid little attention to theepidemic’s legal and human rights implications. This is especially true formarginalized populations who are most vulnerable to HIV-related humanrights abuses: women (especially young women, widows, and women living infishing communities); sex workers; orphans and vulnerable children;lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals; and internallydisplaced persons.Uganda has a detailed legal and policy framework to address the humanrights aspects of its HIV epidemic, according to the report.

Yet most people who endure abuses or rights violations do not seek justice or legalredress. One main impediment is that legal services in Uganda are ofteninaccessible, ineffective, disproportionately accessible, or non-existent.In the absence of a national legal aid system in Uganda, the provision ofHIV-related legal services is dominated by non-governmental organizationsthat often lack sufficient funding to meet the need for services.“HIV may not discriminate, but society does,” said Anne Gathumbi, a programofficer for OSIEA and LAHI.

“Ending stigma is a long battle, but it is onethat Uganda needs to engage to protect the human rights and dignity of allof its citizens.”For people living with HIV in Uganda, stigmatization and discriminationrepresent a major obstacle to effective HIV prevention, treatment, care,and support. Fear of discrimination at work and school often prevent peoplefrom seeking treatment for AIDS or from acknowledging their HIV statuspublicly.Girls and women who have survived rape, sexual violence and abduction areexposed to HIV and face the added abuse of being stigmatized by theircommunities. Widows and orphans who have lost husbands or fathers to AIDSare also in greater need of legal aid services. Widows are often blamed forbringing HIV into the family and are cast out from their homes.

Orphaned children may be forced into child labor, which increases HIV vulnerabilityespecially among girls.The criminalization of sex work and LGBT relations in Uganda furtherthwarts HIV prevention and treatment efforts, according to the report.Women who are perceived to be lesbian are sometimes subjected to rape in aneffort to “make them straight.” Similarly sex workers report beingsubjected to violence at the hands of pimps, forced to participate inunsafe sex, robbed of their personal belongings, and coerced by police toperform sexual favors or pay bribes to avoid arrest.The report recommends stronger enforcement of policies and legislation thatoffer clear protection against HIV-related stigma and discrimination. Itcalls for greater support to community-based groups that have sought tointegrate legal support into HIV prevention and care programs. It alsorecommends strengthening legal mechanisms to help people living with HIVaccess justice. Local Council Courts appear to be the most utilized disputeresolution mechanism by communities, but these courts are not being used toaddress HIV-related infringement of rights.

“Addressing HIV solely with a medical response is not enough to combat thedevastating effects of the epidemic in Uganda,” said Jonathan Cohen,director of OSI’s Law and Health Initiative. “As communities in Uganda havelong known, legal support must be present in the AIDS response alongsideprevention and treatment efforts.”The report will be available online interview one of the report’s co-authors, please contact: Anne Gathumbiat +254 (0)720 426815 or

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Nigerian LGBT Remembers

One Year On, Nigerian LGBT Remembers
Late Oludare Oluwatosin Odumuye.

House Of Rainbow MCC Lagos Nigeria will hold a Special Service in honor, on Sunday 25th May 2008, 10.30am

Friends and Well wisher from within Nigeria and all around the world will gather at this unique service, the celebration and remembrance.

Dare who died on the 20th May 2007 will be remembered for his activism, love for humanity and gay rights campaign for the LGBT community in Nigeria.

Open Invitation

House Of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church,
Lagos Nigeria
Cordially, invite all friends and allies Of
Late Oludare Oluwatosin Odumuye aka Erelu

To The Special One Year Remembrance Service at

House Of Rainbow
Metropolitan Community Church,
Lagos Nigeria

Date; Sunday, 25th May 2008
Time: 10.30am

Please Call/Text – +234 (0) 805 256 7170
for details of location

If you will like to send a message for inclusion in the service, please write to

Thursday, May 15, 2008

ILGA publishes 2008 report on State-sponsored Homophobia

Press release

ILGA publishes 2008 report on State-sponsored Homophobia

ILGA publishes 2008 report on State-sponsored Homophobia
Being lesbian or gay is risking jail time in 86 countries and death penalty in 7.

May 17th is the International Day against Homophobia. ILGA, the International Lesbian and Gay Association, has chosen this date to launch a yearly report on State homophobia around the world, available at

The impressive collection of laws presented in this report is an attempt to show the extent of State-sponsored homophobia in the world.

In 2008, no less than 86 member states of the United Nations still criminalize consensual same sex acts among adults, thus institutionally promoting a culture of hatred. Among those, 7 have legal provisions with death penalty as punishment. To those 86 countries, one must add 6 provinces or territorial units which also punish homosexuality with imprisonment.

With this publication, the International Lesbian and Gay Association, a 30 year old world federation which gathers over 670 lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex groups from over 100 countries hopes to raise awareness about this reality which extent remains unknown to the vast majority of people.

The research, conducted by Daniel Ottosson, only deals with legislation criminalizing consensual sexual acts between persons of the same sex in private above the age of consent. Laws dealing with such acts in public, with under aged people, with force or by any other reason are not included. Nor does it include countries where such acts are legal. References to all legislation can be found in the foot notes, the foot note list and the source list in the end of the report.

This year, ILGA has also included a list of countries according to their legislations affecting LGBTI people. This will allow readers to get a quick and comprehensive overview on the legal situation in the world: from countries penalising homosexual activity with death penalty to the few ones allowing adoption for same sex couples.
Along the same line, ILGA has published a map on LGBTI rights that can be used to raise awareness of people on the many laws affecting LGBTI people in the world. It is available on
Quotes from Rosanna Flamer-Caldera (Sri Lanka)co-secretary general of ILGA:
“Although many of the countries listed in the report do not systematically implement those laws, their mere existence reinforces a culture where a significant portion of the citizens needs to hide from the rest of the population out of fear. A culture where hatred and violence are justified by the State and force people into invisibility or into denying who they truly are.

Whether exported by colonial empires or the result of legislations culturally shaped by religious beliefs, if not deriving directly from a conservative interpretation of religious texts, homophobic laws are the fruit of a certain time and context in history. Homophobia is cultural. Homophobia, lesbophobia and transphobia are not inborn. People learn them as they grow.”

Quotes from Philipp Braun (Germany), co-secretary general of ILGA:
“In many cases, "prejudice against homosexual people” is the result of ignorance and fear. This long catalogue of horrors is but a tale of the intolerance against what is foreign and different.

“Decriminalization of same sex activity is as urgent as ever. The fight for the respect of every minority has to be everyone’s fight. We believe that the recognition of sexual minorities as components of our civil societies and the acknowledgement of the equality of their human rights can contribute to learning how to live together, that is, the learning of democracy”

“ILGA is committed to have sexual orientation and gender identity come out and be discussed at the United Nations Human Rights Council. We believe the Yogyakarta Principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, recently developed by a group of international human rights experts are a useful tool to frame such a discussion among UN member States. It is important to set this debate where it belongs: on the human rights agenda. Altogether 60 countries have publicly supported sexual orientation as an issue at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights/Human Rights Council since 2003. Criminalization of consensual same sex activity is being challenged by NGOs and States in the current Universal Periodic Review.”

News in this report
As of February 1, 2008 sodomy is decriminalized in Nicaragua. The prohibition in former article 204 has been repealed as of the new Penal Code, law No. 641, published in the State Gazette No. 232 of December 3, 2007. In addition, the new code makes it an aggravating circumstance if any of the crimes prohibited under the code are based on sexual orientation. A prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation is also part of the new Penal Code.[i] Therefore the section on Nicaragua has been removed from this report.

New in the report are also sections on Comoros, Burkina Faso and Niger. It has been found out that Comoros indeed has a prohibition of same-sex acts, both male and female, and Burkina Faso and Niger are included as they have laws that can be used against sexual acts between persons of the same sex. The Gambian law has hereto been modified in the year 2005 to include sexual acts between women, and the modified law is now included in the report.

For more information on State Sponsored Homophobia and legislations affecting LGBTI people, ILGA’s activities around the world and at the United Nations, please contact:Stephen Barris / ILGA: 00 32 2 502 24 71

Gays May Face A 21st Century Nigerian Inquisition

Gays May Face A 21st Century Nigerian Inquisition
« H E Religion :: Politics :: Commentary :: Nigeria :: Sexuality :: General :: News :: Akin Akintayo :: email
posted Wednesday, 14 February 2007

The god-squad and the mob
One might almost abandon hope that any reason, objectivity or compassion would come to play in the bill to ban homosexual activity in Nigeria, all is not lost, a public hearing has been held and there is a delay as reported by Black Looks.

Of all the issues and problems that afflict Nigeria and the need to address issues that affect people's lives everyday, the legislators have found time in the dying days of their tenure to be pre-occupied with criminalising a minority.

The premise being the religious and cultural background of Africans where the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said homosexuality is barbaric and shameful; the National Muslim Centre portends homosexuality is - "immoral, and runs contrary to our cultural and religious values".

See our culture
This leaves out the animists who probably have no representative to lobby the National Assembly. However, I remember when I was in secondary school in Sagamu, Ogun State in Nigeria, the most feared medicine man in town was known as "Adodi", crudely meaning buggerer or sodomiser.

It cannot be said that his mythical and assumed powers were not derived from the practice in promotion of "our cultural beliefs" of medicine men.
I can go on to say that these religions that are pervading our legislative spectrum are alien to our original culture of welcoming, tolerating and accepting differences whilst minding our own business.

A human rights issue
Thankfully, there is voice of reason within the cacophony of the lynch mob set on homosexuals by the bishops and the imams; the deputy chairman of the house committee on human rights says - "We should not be hypocritical here. I think we should deal with this subject dispassionately. While we are trying to protect morals and values, we must also remember to protect people's rights even if they are a minority".

At least, it has been aired that homosexuals are first a minority and do probably have rights.
A doctor with UNAids goes on to say, "Failing to acknowledge that sex between men will only increase the vulnerability of men - and women - to HIV infection, since men who cannot talk about their sexual orientation are less likely to seek appropriate support services".

Punishing what exactly?
Now, that should get a few people thinking, however, that can get overruled by that perception that if homosexuals can go to jail for 5 years, that would take them off the streets.
After five years of punishment, would the homosexual now be cured and have become a fully fledged heterosexual or would the privation of the female sex in jail provide a ready and willing sexual object for the pent up sexual frustrations of the male prison population?

Homophobia is the Western influence
I never got to place a comment in an article posted by Black Looks about Reverend Jide Macaulay whom as a minister and founder of the House of Rainbow - a church that caters for those the church should be ministering to but have rejected, spitting hail and brimstone upon them with vehemence so un-Christianly - who was disowned and disavow with homophobic wrath by his father almost to damnation.

Anengiyefa left a long comment on that blog and something quite succinct was said along the lines of the fact that homosexuality is natural and it is homophobia that is Western in its progeny being foisted by the so-called religious leaders on our public by the contagion of religion.
That is a truth that sits well with the hypocrisy that allows for religious protagonists to persecute and prosecute those of a different persuasion and that in the 21st Century; the Nigerian National Assembly is about to usher in the age of the Nigerian Inquisition, other problems are too insignificant to be accorded any valuable time.

The National Assembly in Nigeria is about to vote to criminalise homosexuality, a few voices have been raised about the human rights and health issues, but against the hypocrisy of moral, religious and cultural values, reason and commonsense probably has no chance.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Mo Moment with Mo Show And The Scandalous PM News Report.

The Mo Moment with Mo Show And The Scandalous PM News Report.

First it was a struggle to get on the Moment with Mo show, after many attempts and few phone calls from their offices, meeting with the producers of the Show, even after many discussions with our church leaders, I attended. I knew another show in Nigeria on homosexuality will either make or break. I feel in all understanding, it is good credence to begin a dialogue rather than a war of words

I had the opportunity to meet other gay and lesbian people, and the rare opportunity to include them in my prayers as together we stand to change time and history. In fact I can safely conclude that History was made by our actions.

Many chose to hide their identity, however, my boldness and courage that God loves me just the way I am, I decided that I need not cover my face, allow the people of Africa and the rest to see me and tell me what is wrong with and honestly being a homosexual.

I want to call on reasonable thinking people, including staff and colleagues at my college where I am currently studying for my PhD in theology to rethink, what are the accuracies of the report or the real issues faced by people that are homosexuals in Nigeria? Many of you are currently clergies and church goers, what are your views and conclusions?.

Let me say a few things, Jesus came to the world to die for my sins and NOT my sexuality, if you fail to love me, then God who made you and love you will love me always.

I have responded honestly with all my heart to the call of God to be the face and voice of our community in Nigeria, I am sure many people will agree with me, but yet the fear of speaking or standing for the truth, will hold many people back. I can understand.

Before we rush in to the condemnation mode or gather the 15 million sexual minorities in Nigeria, we need to think of the peoples’ right to be part of the household of God and also how they are to be included as rightful citizens of Nigeria. With laws that will continue to protect LGBT from violent attacks, malicious abuses, and inaccurate conclusion. Who is to judge?

My experience and struggle in just less than two years of moving back to Nigeria from the United Kingdom, as an optimistic gay rights activist and a gay pastor are overwhelming, I have seen and heard many depleting and inhumane stories of victimization, discrimination, ostracisation, rejection and so on of people simply because they identify or merely suspected of being gay or lesbian.

You can never tell what will happen.

Business people and some local printers have refused to do our printing jobs, because of their positions with their religion once they knew we are a mission that is inclusive and welcoming to LGBT people.

I gave more people a ride in our church bus after my lecture on Tuesday, 13th May 2008, it was a raining day and more questions were asked about homosexuality and the bible. I refused to be the closeted religious leader, I claim that I will be the face for the faceless and voice for the voiceless, even if it meant ridiculous story lines and this has started happening. I believe our work is cut out for us in Nigeria alone, let alone in the rest of the world.

We get no where without a fight, but I believe that this fight is righteous for many people that are unable to neither speak out nor stand up for their rights.

Our mission at House Of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church

Mission Statement

· House Of Rainbow is committed to basic Christian Gospel, that the love of God is freely available to all people, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
· House Of Rainbow recognises the oppression caused through racism, sexism, hatred and other forms of prejudice, both within and outside the Christian Church.
· House Of Rainbow seeks to share healing with all people so affected.

Statement of Vision

House Of Rainbow is on a bold mission to transform hearts, lives, and history. We are a movement that faithfully proclaims God’s inclusive love for all people and proudly bears witness to the holy integration of spirituality and sexuality.


House Of Rainbow MCC, seeks to promote an inclusive gospel ministry of Jesus Christ, for all children of God, regardless of age, gender, race, tribe, language, marital or employment status, ability, disability, health, sexual orientation, etc

And if we fail as activist or Christian mission we are not serving the very people that need our services.

We have to be radical against those who violently attack us, many Citizens of Nigeria including Conservative Christians have concluded that homosexuality is a sin, they need new information, education and for Christians anointing for wisdom in understanding the heart of God for all the people of God.

Homosexuality is included in the mysteries of God and in the dynamic creation of the human spectrum.

PM news printed a violent accounted which are incorrect, and Lagosians will believe anything they choose to. I am not sure if PM News is the right choice of paper for intelligent and reasonable thinking people.