Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Passage Imminent 9

[updated below, three times]

The roman numerals were getting ridiculous (let alone the increasing size of the actual numbers).

At the risk of generating a bit of blog-circularity, Jim Naughton has important news from Nigeria. The Nigerian Senate is expected to vote on the legislation this Thursday (less than 48 hours from now). The Nigerian House is ready to vote as well.

If you belong to a parish or other organization that has supported Archbishop Akinola's spiritual leadership in the Anglican Communion, but you are disturbed (as we all should be) by his endorsement of legislation that would put gay and lesbian Nigerians in jail for organizing and that would irrevocably damage the Church of Nigeria's ministry to gay and lesbian persons not to mention their physical and mental well-being, now is the time to act.

If your parish is a member of CANA, or is considering departure to CANA, write or call:

The Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns
mminns@trurochurch.org
703.273.1300 x140
Truro Church
10520 Main Street
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

If you belong to a Network parish or diocese, write or call:

The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan
duncan@pgh.anglican.org
412-281-6131
Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh
900 Oliver Building
535 Smithfield Street
Pittsburgh, PA, 15222-2467

If you are not a member of a Network or CANA (or incipient CANA) parish, please do not call or email.

Also, everyone should contact the Archbishop of Canterbury. His silence in the matter has been astonishing. His office can be reached here:

The Most Reverend Rowan Williams
The Press Office
Lambeth Palace
London SE1 7JU
Tel: 020 7898 1200
Fax: 020 7261 1765

BE POLITE!! And remember, the issue here is not whether homosexual acts should be made legal (they're already illegal in Nigeria), nor whether gay marriage should be made legal (it already is not recognized by the government), but that the basic civil rights of a minority (speech, assembly, press, free exercise of religion) must not be abridged in the name of religion!

This is not a question of "context," either. The Nigerian Constitution guarantees all these rights for its citizens, regardless of religious beliefs. And for good reason: in a nation split as evenly as Nigeria is between Christians and Muslims, tolerance is a virtue.

It is also not a question of Muslim encroachment. Muslim legislators have called for caution in implementing this legislation -- if a Muslim can speak out with impunity, why can't an Anglican?

This is your last chance to meaningfully break your silence.

UPDATE Feb 27, 12:12. From Integrity via Jim Naughton, here's even more you can do, especially if you don't belong to a Network or CANA parish:
Davis Mac-Iyalla of Changing Attitude Nigeria is asking for our help. Here are two concrete things you can do ...

1) Send an e-mail to Archbishop Peter Akinola (primate@anglican-nig.org ) asking him to use his considerable influence with the Senate to defeat the bill. Remind him that paragraph 146 of the Windsor Report states that, ''any demonising of homosexual persons, or their ill treatment, is totally against Christian charity and basic principles of pastoral care."

2) Call the Nigerian Embassy (202-986-8400) in Washington, DC, to express your concerns about the bill. Remind embassy staff that Nigeria is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which guarantees freedom from unfair discrimination and the right to privacy. Parts of the act are also inconsistent with the principle of non-discrimination found in the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Nigerian Constitution.

NOTE regarding the Nigerian Embassy -- it's better to fax a note and address it to the General Assembly. Their fax number is (202) 362-5684 (h/t one of Jim Naughton's commenters, A. MacArthur).
These can be tough phone calls to make / emails to write, but they're worth it. Don't delay.

UPDATE II Feb 27, 13:46. Sammy Morse recommends alternative contact info for those outside the US:
Nigerian High Commission in London:
9 Northumberland Avenue
LONDON
WC2N 5BX
chancery@nigeriahc.org.uk
Tel: (+44) 020 7839 1244

Nigerian Embassy in Dublin:
56 Leeson Park
Dublin 6
Tel: (+353) 1 660 4051

E-mail form on their website - https://www.nigerianembassy.ie/dublin/content/en/contacts.htm
Thanks for this.

UPDATE III March 2, 09:51. Hat tip to Susan Rusell for providing a letter template for writing to Archbishop Akinola. It's a good, polite letter. I recommend it:

Dear Archbishop Akinola,

It is urgent that you use your influence with the Senate of Nigeria to oppose the Same-sex Marriage Prohibition Act. Please remind the Senators that:

1) Paragraph 146 of the Windsor Report of the World Wide Anglican Communion states that "any demonizing of homosexual persons, or their ill treatment, is totally against Christian charity and basic principles of pastoral care"; and

2) Nigeria is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil andPolitical Rights, and the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, which guarantee freedom from unfair discrimination, and the right to privacy; and

3) Those rights are also affirmed in the Constitution of Nigeria.

Embellish the letter how you will, but be polite!!! Akinola's email address is Primate@anglican-nig.com.

Please also CC: Archbishop Akinola's Communications Director, Canon Akintude Popoola, at communicator1@anglican-nig.org. Canon Tunde has played an active role in defending Akinola's endorsement of the legislation.

3 comments:

Sammy Morse said...

It might be worth including addresses for Nigerian Embassies in other countries where you have a readership too.

Nigerian High Commission in London:
9 Northumberland Avenue
LONDON
WC2N 5BX
E-mail: chancery@nigeriahc.org.uk
Tel: (+44) 020 7839 1244

Nigerian Embassy in Dublin:
56 Leeson Park
Dublin 6
Tel: (+353) 1 660 4051

E-mail form on their website - https://www.nigerianembassy.ie/dublin/content/en/contacts.htm

Weiwen Ng said...

if you want to contact the ABC, you can email his press secretary: jonathan.jennings@lambethpalace.org.uk

Rowan said...

Thanks for putting all this information together in one place. This site is a big help.
Linda McMillan
Austin