Gay Nigerian Christian lay preacher Davis Mac-Iyalla

Posted on January 30, 2010. Filed under: Stories - from other sites |

The gay Nigerian Christian lay preacher Davis Mac-Iyalla’s journey through immigration.
These are articles following his journey.
Source: http://madikazemi.blogspot.com/

Article #1:
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
Davis Mac-Iyalla granted asylum
A Christian fleeing from Nigeria, where the Church supports anti-gay legislation, was granted asylum in the UK last Friday after receiving death threats.

Davis Mac-Iyalla, director of Changing Attitude Network (Nigeria), who left the country in 2006, said that he could now work in safety to further the welfare of other Nigerians who were lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual.

Mr Mac-Iyalla, who addressed a fringe meeting at the Lambeth Con¬ference on Tuesday, said that he could introduce bishops who denied that there were any gay Africans to several homosexuals from Africa. Homosexuality had existed in Africa long before Westerners arrived, he said. “Homosexuality was known in Africa: what was not known was Chris¬tianity. But the missionaries came and said it was a sin. It is not homosexuality that is a Western thing.”

The Archbishop of Sudan, the Most Revd Daniel Deng, had stated at the Conference that there were no gay people in Sudan, but, Mr Mac-Iyalla said, “there are African homo¬sexuals here at the Lambeth Con¬ference from Uganda, Ruanda, and Tan¬zania, and we are all the same. We are no different from the Suda¬nese. We are not a political organisation.”

In Nigeria, where being gay had been criminalised, it had become very difficult for homosexuals. “The Church should be protesting against the laws that criminalise homo¬sexual¬ity, and it should be offering churches as a safe place, instead of colluding with the government,” he said.

“Before Akinola became Arch¬bishop, I had a number of bishops who knew me well and related to me, but because of Akinola they have had to suppress their views. The Nigerian bishops dare not even come to Lambeth, although many wanted to, for fear of what would happen to them. The one who did try had to go back, otherwise he would have been excommunicated or defrocked.

“If that’s what would happen to a bishop, can you image what would happen to a gay person?”

He had seen no African bishops at the fringe meeting, “African Day of Action”, that he had addressed. “They are more keen to speak than to listen. African bishops are avoiding the truth.”

Two years ago he had been de¬nounced by the present Bishop of Ife in a press release, after he had said that he was gay and Anglican. “But we exist, and we are part of the Church and not strangers to the Church, contrary to what the African bishops are saying.

“I think God is helping us. No¬body would have thought then that gay Anglicans could come out and tell their stories.”

Source: Churchtimes

Article #2:
Saturday, 12 July 2008
An Evening with gay Nigerian activist Davis Mac-Iyalla
Davis was recently freed from UK detention.

Davis Mac-Iyalla, 35, is founder and director of the country’s only gay-rights organization, Changing Attitude-Nigeria, which advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the Anglican Church and elsewhere in Nigeria.

This evening, from last year, was held at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland.

The Episcopal Church is the American wing of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which includes 80 million members in 154 countries. In 2003, the Episcopal Church consecrated the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop. Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola has been a leading critic against the ordination of gay bishops and the inclusion of GLBT persons in the life of the church.

Mac-Iyalla is a leading voice fighting a proposed bill in his country that would make it illegal for gays to organize, meet in public, or even visit a GLBT website. He has received numerous death threats for his activism, has been fired from his job as a school principal, and forced to live in exile in a neighboring country in West Africa. Prior to declaring his homosexuality, he was an active member of the Anglican Church of Nigeria.

In May 2007, he convened a meeting of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists from seven West African countries, for the first regional conference of its kind. He toured 20 US cities, and he addressed the executive council of the Episcopal Church about the dangers faced by GLBT Nigerians.

Article #3:
Monday, 7 July 2008
Nigerian asylum seeker and activist freed
The gay Nigerian Christian lay preacher Davis Mac-Iyalla has been freed by the UK Home Office, Peter Tatchell reports.

Earlier this afternoon, London-based gay human rights group Outrage! reported that Mr. Mac-Iyalla, who is seeking refuge in UK had been arrested and incarcerated at the Oakington asylum detention centre in Cambridgeshire.

“The Home Office has just announced that [Mr.] Mac-Iyalla has been freed,W Mr. Tatchell said.

“After an intensive lobbying campaign for his release, the Home Office has relented and set free Mr Mac-Iyalla.

“I am delighted that the Home Office has finally seen sense and released him.

“But he was only freed because he has lots of supporters and a first-class solicitor, Abigale Evans of Wilson and Co.

“Many gay asylum seekers are not so lucky,” Mr. Tatchell pointed out.

“They end up in detention for months.

“Davis should never have been detained in the first place.

“Treating a victim of homophobic persecution like a common criminal is outrageous, said Mr Tatchell insisted.

Wikipedia Listing:
Davis Mac-Iyalla (b. 1974 in or near Otukpo) is a Nigerian LGBT rights activist. He established the Nigerian wing of the British Changing Attitude organization, which presses for internal reform of the Anglican Communion for further inclusion of Anglican sexual minorities.

He came out to himself at the age of 14, but his disinterest in dating females was not made apparent to others around him until after two events: the ordination of Gene Robinson as the bishop of New Hampshire in the Episcopalian branch, and the death of his mentor, the Bishop Iyobee Ugede of Otukpo. He was, in July of 2003, fired from his job as the principal of a local Anglican children’s school; after this incident, which he believed was due to his being gay, he became an activist and started work with Changing Attitude.

He has faced stiff opposition from both the religious elite and their lay constituents in Nigeria, which is a heavily-conservative nation in terms of politics. The church of Nigeria has issued a disclaimer against Mac-Iyalla on their website. However, Mac-Iyalla has met with the primate of the Nigerian Church, Peter Akinola, who is most well known for leading an internal faction of the worldwide communion against welcoming actions towards LGBT Anglicans by the British Anglican and U.S. Episcopalian churches.

Mac-Iyalla has ventured to other countries with Anglican communities on speaking tours.

He has been accused by Nigerian Anglicans as a charlatan who made up his life story, most notably by Canon Akintunde Popoola, but Mac-Iyalla posted photos of his time as a knight of the church during his younger years on the Web.
Source: Wikipedia

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    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Immigration Stories – A Collective Wisdom

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