Posted by Nelson Dafe | 10 October 2014 | 3,744 times
A Nigerian archbishop has spoken in support of ending government-backed criminalisation of gays in the country.
Speaking in Rome while attending the synod of Bishops, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, the Archbishop of Jos, stressed that Nigerian bishops are against the criminalisation of gays but, for cultural and religious reasons, oppose same sex marriage.
“The Catholic Church respects all human beings. We believe we are all created in the image and likeness of God,” Kaigama said at a Vatican press conference on Wednesday.
The Nigerian Catholic Church wrote a letter earlier this year to President Goodluck Johnathan thanking him for signing into law an anti-gay bill passed by the Nigerian parliament.
But Archbishop Kaigama used the press conference to clarify the part of the law that he says his church supports.
He pointed out that the Catholic Church’s support of the law did not go beyond disallowing gay marriage in Nigeria.
“We are serious defenders of human rights,” he continued. “And we would defend any person with homosexual orientation who has been harassed, who has been imprisoned, who has been
“We promote what is based in our culture and our religion, but we do not just throw away the persons, we embrace them in love. The government may want to punish them but we don’t.”
Kaigama promised that the bishops will “tell the government to stop punishing those who have different orientations.”
•Photo shows Archbishop Kaigama.
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