Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Same sex marriage law in Mexico

¡Que viva Mexico!

The Mexico City legislature yesterday passed with a two thirds majority an
initiative to make it possible for people of the same sex to marry each
other and adopt children. The initiative is now before the Mayor, Mr Marcelo
Luis Ebrard Casaubon. If he approves the initiative he will draft a new law,
redefining marriage in the Federal District as a "free union between two
people," and allowing same sex couples to adopt. The law will come into
effect in March 2010.

Gloria Careaga, Co-Secretary General of ILGA and active promoter of the
bill, said: “This has been an intense process in which more than 150 social
organizations were involved. When passed, Mexico City will become the first
legislative body in Latin America to pass legislation allowing people of the
same sex to marry and adopt children. I am proud of living in this City,
this is a landmark victory for all those who believe in the equality of
lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex people, in democracy and freedom”.

“This legislation will raise the standards of equality in Mexico higher than
those of many European and North American countries: a nail in the coffin of
those who insist in presenting the right of equality for all LGBTI people in
the world as 'a Western construct',” added Renato Sabbadini, Co-Secretary
General of ILGA.

ILGA has supported the passage of the initiative by encouraging political
leaders worldwide to write to Mayor Ebrard Casaubon and the City
Parliamentarians and express their support.

Mr Job Cohen, the Mayor of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and the first person
in the world to officiate a state-sanctioned same sex marriage, wrote: “I
praise Mexico City for aspiring to become the first city in Latin America to
make this bold and necessary step forward. Same sex marriage has made our
society more inclusive. It was a clear signal that we fully accept people
for who they are. We oppose discrimination on the basis of whom people
choose to love. I strongly urge you to support this bill. I believe it is
the right way forward for a city that seeks equality for all and I commend
you for your leadership”.

Member of the European Parliament Ms Ulrike Lunacek wrote to the Mayor on
behalf of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender rights requesting his support for the initiative. “The right to
privacy, the right to found a family and enjoy fully equal rights are
enshrined in international treaties to which the Federal State of Mexico has
subscribed. Passing this piece of legislation would honour the leaders, as
well as serve the interests of all your constituents.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Across Nigeria, the silence denied truth about sexuality that increases the vulnerability of same sex practicing persons is being broken. Bold men and women from within the LGBTI community and allies are beginning to recognize that combating the epidemic head on means get everyone involved. For far too long this denied truth has cost the lives of same sex practicing persons. I can recall that this year alone, 5 death of same sex practicing person due to AIDS-related illness came to my attention. The question this leaves in my mind is “what about those cases that do not get to the attention of LGBTI organization and other AIDS service provision organizations due to the stigma related to AIDS and sexual orientation?

Today, Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark this year WORLD AIDS DAY, I am beginning to wonder if as a country, Nigeria is really committed to make the country, HIV – free or bring the spread of the disease under control. Globally fever than 1 in 20 men who have sex with man have no access to HIV prevention, care and treatment program. The bitter truth for Nigeria in that the lack of HIV/AIDS control program for men who have sex with men could reverse the giant strides made in the efforts to combat the disease.

LGBTI organization in Nigeria with the help of international donors are beginning to take the bold steps in providing these services to members of the same sex practicing community especially men who have sex men. The vulnerability same sex practicing persons are already experience is a key factor to the spread of the disease in the community.

As Nigeria reflects on the gains made in the fight against HIV there is the need to pay more attention to the same sex practicing community. We must understanding that same sex practicing persons also engage in opposite sex practices for societal acceptance. Whether they men who have sex with men or woman who have sex with women. Government must realize that its efforts in fighting the epidemic might be totally reversed if it does not address homosexuality. At this point when all hands are to be involved in the fight, women who have sex with women get no attention to their need for HIV prevention, care and treatment. This need to be addressed urgently.

Addressing this problem, also means addressing laws that contribute to the vulnerability if an already marginalized and vulnerable persons. Laws that encourage societal stigma and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation need be repealed or abolished.

Government and indeed the whole of service providers must take cognizance of the fact that AID and homosexuality be discussed. Realizing that the sooner we talk about this 2 issues in our offices, schools, halls of government, in fact everywhere, the more lives we can saves and curtail the spread of disease.

It is therefore time that the HIV prevention, care and treatment services available be targeted at all Nigeria citizen irrespective of sexual orientation in our guess for the HIV-free nation and generation we all yearn for.