Thursday, 24 January 2013

SAME SEX MARRIAGE PROHIBITION BILL – THE SILENCE OF NACA


Those that follow Nigerian politics may be astounded at the speed with which the SAME SEX MARRIAGE PROHIBITION BILL is passing through our houses of parliament (especially considering that the National Health Bill is still in the making after 8 years). This is one bill that appears to have united Muslim and Christian leaders, with the Senate President recently quoted as saying "Ban on same-sex marriage irrevocable". Can it really be that there is universal agreement on this in Nigeria and the lawmakers are protecting the interests of their constituents, weak and strong, as they were elected to do. To offer a perspective  we invited Dr Cheikh Eteka Traore, an international consultant on HIV and sexual diversity to provide some insights. 


SAME SEX MARRIAGE PROHIBITION BILL – THE SILENCE OF NACA
by Dr Cheikh Eteka TRAORE

As 2012 was ending, many of us, working for most-at-risk communities in the AIDS community were reflecting on the year, and whether the last AIDS conference in Washington, DC had any impact. It was a very eventful year in so many respects. From human rights controversies to new breakthroughs in prevention science, and off course all the talk about “Turning the tide” and the “AIDS Free generation”. We witnessed last year many policy and political ‘wins’ for the groups we work for. Groups who despite their higher vulnerability to HIV, suffer neglect in country AIDS responses. Namely, injecting drug users, men who have sex with men and sex workers. Leaders and advocates representing these groups were very visible and were the subject of policy debates during the Washington conference.