Canada Bishops Criticize Nigeria Church Gay Ban

Canada's Anglican bishops unanimously endorsed a motion expressing "grave concern" about proposed legislation in Nigeria that "would prohibit or severely restrict the freedom of speech, association, expression and assembly of gay and lesbian persons," Canada's national Anglican newspaper reported recently.

The motion, according to the Anglican Journal, also criticized the Anglican Church of Nigeria for its support of the legislation, which the bishops said is inconsistent with the United Nations' International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The bishops said they were "especially grieved" by the support for the legislation given by the Church of Nigeria, noting that the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops called upon churches to "listen to the experience of homosexual persons," the Journal reported last Thursday.

The proposed laws, said the bishops, "criminalize civil and religious same-sex marriage as well as the public and private expression of same-sex affection, all public affiliation between gay persons and even publicity, public support and media reporting of the same."

The proposals "would make the very act of listening to homosexual persons impossible," they added.

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