Some conservative Anglicans I've conversed with since I started blogging on Nigeria have felt that the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights, let alone our own 1st Amendment, is irrelevant to any obligation we may have to protect the civil rights of homosexual Nigerians. (I should note that even a non-homosexual advocate of their rights, such as myself, would be put in prison for five years if he or she spoke out while visiting the country.) Some, such as the Rev. Martyn Minns (and here), couch their support of Archbishop Akinola's endorsement of the new Nigerian legislation in terms of the different civil rights "contexts" that Nigerians and Americans find themselves. When I object to that kind of moral relativism, others accuse me of hypocrisy (even though I've never had any position other than that human rights should always be protected) simply because those same conservatives have accused many in the Episcopal Church of moral relativism for supporting the ordination and consecration of non-celibate gay priests and bishops. (I should point out that this final argument regarding hypocrisy is exactly backwards -- if conservative Anglicans have historically argued against moral relativism, then they should maintain that argument in all cases.)
Enough! We are not having the right debate. The Nigerian legislation exceeds the bounds of this long-running and highly contentious struggle over orthodoxy. Now it has become a debate on the very nature of civil society, and whether that society can be made to support peace rather than strife.