Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2009.
A Statement by House Of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church
On behalf of Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay, the founder and Pastor of House Of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church Nigeria, the leaders, friends and entire members.
We are here today as citizens of Nigeria to add our voice against homophobia and transphobia and to remind our government, religious bodies, media, people and society that they may run us out of their churches, mosques, homes, jobs and neighbourhood, but they cannot run us out of this nation nor reduce the love of God that includes us.
Colossians 3:11, there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all!
This is a progressive and inclusive voice of scripture rejecting discrimination of any kind.
State Sponsored Homophobia
80 countries around the world consider homosexuality illegal, amongst these five of them punish homosexual acts with death which includes Nigeria.
Romans 13:1-3 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; (We LGBT citizens have been a subject to the rules of the land) verse three says 3For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. (We ask that our government not rule over us in terror for who we are and who we love but judge us on who we hate)
It was not until 1990 that the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from their list of mental illnesses and, to date Nigerian government still attempt to use the old penal code from British colonialism to punish us, also in 2006 introduced the Same Sex Prohibition bill and 2008 followed up with the Same Gender Prohibition bill, these attempts to punish same sex relationship and union are state sponsored threats against our humanity and we demand an end to this.
Our government also denied we exist on the 9th February 2009 at the United Nations in Geneva and in March 2009 we have to debate that we exist at the parliament.
Yogyakarta Principles on the Application of International Human Rights Law in relation to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Principle 21, The Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion Says; Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. These rights may not be invoked by the State to justify laws, policies or practices which deny equal protection of the law, or discriminate, on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
At House Of Rainbow we believe that building respect for human rights and the rule of law will help ensure the dignity to which every individual is entitled and will halt tyranny, extremism, intolerance, and violence.
We are asking the government to protect people at risk, especially LGBT people, who are increasingly victims of crimes or other mass human rights violations, victims of discrimination, whose rights are eroded in the name of national security and human rights advocates who are targeted for defending the rights of others.
We will continue to fight for equality and for freedom of thought, expression, and religion; by presenting this statement we seek to confront human rights challenges with strategic responses that do not compromise our integrity.
John 9:39-40 Jesus said, ‘I came into this world for judgement so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.’ 40Some of the Pharisees near Jesus heard this and said to Jesus, ‘Surely we are not blind, are we?
There is no doubt that many religious communities and leaders chose to alienate us from their mosques and churches, we believe that Jesus spoke of these leaders when he spoke about spiritual blindness.
Religious Homophobia is on the rampage, religious people who are suppose to be God fearing and law abiding have turn their hands to extreme “Hate” Campaign against God’s LGBT children. What then happened to the message of Christ that said “Love your neighbour as yourself?”
We no longer accept discrimination on the grounds that we are an “unacceptable brand of religion in Nigeria”. We seek to exercise our freedom to praise and worship God without fear and discrimination.
Micah 6:8, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Homophobia in the Media.
Especially since May 2008, the Nigerian media with its circulation has herald the headship of homophobic stories, headlines range from “Homosexuals Must die” “Evil Church” to “We won’t succumb to Homosexuality”, these medium continue to enhance and incite hatred towards LGBT people, and criminality against our community has increased.
We expect that the media will assist to spread human rights awareness, inform people about human rights, empower marginalized communities to stand up, speak out and protect themselves. The media in any form is one of the most powerful methods to share, educate and inform the people. We are calling on the Nigerian media to help to end hate against LGBT people in this country.
Journalist should strive for Human Right goals and make everyone in the world fully aware of their rights. Creating rights awareness should be the first and most necessary step to ending rights abuses. Shamefully today the Nigerian media is the contrary and have endangered LGBT people’s lives in this nation.
Because of the media, today people "Live In Fear Everyday" it is our aim to put an end to this, LGBT people abroad are not only afraid to return to Nigeria, they do not trust the system and equally those at home are being vilified daily by the media and the society.
House Of Rainbow
We are committed to building a national movement of people who share these principles of equality and freedom for all. We are committed to raise a people of praise, build a people of power and spiritual activists.Within our organization we value learning, mutual respect, collaboration, and a diversity of viewpoints. We are a Justice Ministry and will continue to highlight the injustices against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people in Nigeria regardless of faith background.
We believe we are made and created in the image of God, we believe in the inclusive gospel and expressive love of God for all people.
The United Nations declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity condemns violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization, and prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It also condemns killings and executions, torture, arbitrary arrest, and deprivation of economic, social, and cultural rights on those grounds.
We are asking our government to formally endorse the United Nation’s declaration calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality.
God bless you all
Rev Rowland Jide Macaulay - LLB, MTh, FACTS.
On Behalf of the Leaders, Friends, and Members of
House Of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church Nigeria