The persecution of homosexuals continues in Nigeria with four young men convicted of homosexual relations and flogged on in open court. The judges and lawyers watched as the men (aged 20 to 22) were laid prostrate on the floor, stripped, and whipped on their buttocks in a demonstration of Sharia justice. The sadomasochistic nature of the punishment appears to have escaped the onlookers. While a crowd outside tried to grab the men to kill them, the court explained that stoning was not needed since the men admitted to homosexual acts previously but said that they were no longer engaging in such relations.
Each was sentenced to 15 strokes and may also face a year’s imprisonment if they cannot pay a fine of $120.
The case was brought under the the new infamous Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act in January that targets homosexuals. The crowd insisted that under Sharia law the men should be stoned to death.
The question that I have is why Americans, particularly gay and lesbian Americans, are expected to give large amounts of aid to a country that would execute or flog many of our citizens if they visited the country. At some point, it would seem reasonable to deny aid to countries who want to kill our own citizens.
Recently, Sweden cut off aid to Ugandan for its anti-homosexual laws. Is it time for the United States to do the same for countries like Nigeria? I would also add other core rights as a threshold test, including the denial of religious freedom and free speech and women’s rights.
What do you think?