The Archbishop of Jos, Ignatius Kaigama has said the Catholic church in Nigeria frowns upon any form of discrimination against gay individuals, The Tablet UK reports.
The government of Nigeria had earlier passed law banning gay activities and public display of gay affection, with a 14-year jail term liable for anyone convicted of engaging in such.
When the law was passed, Kaigama showed support for the legislation but has come out to say that inasmuch as the church frowns upon gay unions, the discrimination and incarceration of those found guilty of being gay.
He said: “We are not supporting the criminalisation of people with different sexual orientations. We would defend any person with homosexual orientation who is being harassed, who is being imprisoned, who is being punished. The Government may want to punish them – we don’t. In fact we will tell the Government to stop punishing those with different orientations.”
The archbishop also had some strong words for international organisations, countries and groups who are making Africans engage in alien practices, deviating from cultural practices, traditions and religious beliefs. He also condemned agencies that tell African countries that they are over populated.
Kaigama said: “We are told, ‘If you limit your population we are going to give you so much,’ and we tell them ‘Who tells you that our population is overgrown?’”
“In the first place children die in infant mortality, in inter-tribal wars and diseases, but yet you come to say ‘decrease your population and we will give you economic help’.”
He added that organisations bringing contraceptives to the continent were rendering the wrong kind of assistance as the countries needed other forms of aid.
“We want food, we want education, we want good roads, healthcare. We are being given the wrong things and we are being asked to accept, simply because we are poor. We may be poor materially but we are not poor in every sense,” he added.