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Nigerian prelate defends anti-homosexual laws against foreign criticism

Catholic World News - February 03, 2014

A Nigerian archbishop has dismissed criticism from other countries of Nigeria’s new laws against homosexuality.

“As a sovereign nation, we have a right to determine our present and future lifestyles,” said Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos. Questioned about charges that the new law violates the human rights of homosexuals, he replied: “We as Nigerians should determine what is a right and what is proper and what should be allowed.” The archbishop said that criticism has come from activist groups “linked with foreign organizations who drum into their heads that what the Nigerian government is doing is against the rights of the people.” The archbishop made his remarks just after an editorial in the Southern Cross, a newspaper published by the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, decried the new laws in Nigeria and Uganda as “draconian legislation” that would “persecute people on the basis of their sexual orientation.”

In the same interview Archbishop Kaigama said that he would tell the Nigerian government “never to give up” in its effort to defeat the terrorist group Boko Haram. He said that other Muslim leaders in Nigeria have assured Christians that “Boko Haram has nothing to do with Islam or Islam has nothing to do with Boko Haram.”

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