AFRICAN ANTI-LGBTI CRUSADES: THE L.A. CONNECTION
On Monday January 13, 2014 Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed into law a measure which states that “Persons who enter into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction to a term of 14 years in prison…” and that “Any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organizations or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison.” The Nigerian law follows legislation in Uganda which established life in prison for what it calls “aggravated homosexuality” and “years in prison for anyone who counsels or reaches out to homosexuals, a provision that would ensnare rights groups and others providing services to lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender people” according to CNN.
These anti-LGBTI laws in Africa are indirectly related to the recent decision of the United Methodist Church in America’s decision to defrock Rev. Frank Schaefer of Pennsylvania for refusing to recant after performing a same-sex wedding for his Gay son and son-in-law.
Several years ago the UMC brought in Adonijah Okechukwu Ogbonnaya as pastor at the Venice United Methodist Church. “Dr. O” as he is called is an Igbo tribe member from Nigeria…..and he’s a religious fanatic who has campaigned all over Africa for anti-LBGTI legislation while throwing LGBTI children out of youth programs at the VUMC, running Latinos out of the VUMC, and apparently colluding with a long time youthful church member to fabricate charges of molestation against another church leader.
Dr. O’s fanaticism does not stop with LGBTI issues. OGBONNAYA has expressed, personally to me, the following beliefs, which indicate nothing short of apocalyptic fanaticism:
In connection with the Igbo tribal belief that they are descendants of ancient Hebrews, he believes that Israel will eventually be destroyed;
“Biafra” must be resurrected through secession from Nigeria;
The survivors of the destruction of Israel will be brought to “Biafra” as their new homeland.
Biafra was the short lived Ibo secessionist state of Nigeria which fought a bloody civil war from 30 May 1967 to 15 January 1970 (exactly 44 years ago today). Of the 13.5 million population, estimates of civilian casualties of the war are between 1-3 million people. The group that Dr. O has advocated and organized for is described in Wikipedia:
The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) advocates a separate country for the Igbo people of south-eastern Nigeria. They accuse the state of marginalising the Igbo people. MASSOB says it is a peaceful group and advertises a 25-stage plan to achieve its goal peacefully. There are two arms to the government, the Biafra Government in Exile and Biafra Shadow Government. The Nigerian government accuses MASSOB of violence; MASSOB’s leader, Ralph Uwazuruike, was arrested in 2005 and is being detained on treason charges; MASSOB is calling for his release. MASSOB is also championing the release of oil militant Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, who is facing similar charges. In 2009, The MASSOB launched “the Biafran International Passport” in response to persistent demand by Biafrans in diaspora.
A Los Angeles Weekly report in 2010 on Dr. O noted that:
The church’s new pastor, A. Okechukwu Ogbonnaya, who was appointed in June and moved here from the Chicago area, abruptly ended the youth group’s active participation in Sunday morning services, which had included performing raps and poems to the full congregation about their spiritual journeys.
Then Ogbonnaya, a fiery preacher during his Sunday sermons, forbade the kids from conducting their own service in the sanctuary.
Finally, the pastor locked the youth group out of its nighttime meeting room in the church complex.
Pine says he and other members of the youth group are still gathering, praying and talking — in the darkened Venice church parking lot twice a week.
“To be locked out from a place that I love to go, it felt like getting kicked out of my own home,” says Robert Alvarez, 18, who prays alongside Pine.
According to a former VUMC church official a person utilized by Dr. O to bring allegations of homosexual sexual misconduct was represented as being previously unknown to Dr. O prior to his VUMC assignment. However, the individual identified as having brought the charges against the other church leader turns out to have a record of utilizing Dr. O’s social security number in 2004, 2005, and 2010 in Auburn and Puyallup, Washington, when Dr. O was also living in those cities.
An internal complaint by long time church members to the UMC went nowhere: