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Persecuted Gay Activist Denied Visitor's Visa

By United States

CHICAGO, June 8, 2006 -- Due to visa problems, the scheduled June 23rd Chicago speaking engagement by gay Anglican activist Davis Mac-Iyalla of Nigeria has been cancelled. Mac-Iyalla was also scheduled to address the Ohio national convention of Integrity, the pro-gay organization of Episcopalians in the United States. The Chicago engagement was to have been sponsored by the Gay Liberation Network.

Mac-Iyalla has been the foremost leader organizing for gay equality in Nigeria, working to prevent a proposed draconian law there which would outlaw freedom of assembly for Lesbians and Gays in that country and effectively ban their political and social organizations, punishable by long prison sentences. He has also courageously challenged the anti-gay political activism of the Nigerian church's leader, Archbishop Peter Akinola who, along with local Muslim leaders, has been in a perverse contest to see who can be the most strident supporters of the proposed anti-gay law.

For his activism, Mac-Iyalla has been beaten up and briefly imprisoned by Nigerian police, and viciously slandered by Akinola and his spokesman, Rev. Canon Akin Tunde Popoola. Mac-Iyalla is the founder of Changing Attitude Nigeria (CAN), an affirming organization of gays and lesbians in the Anglican Communion (http://www.changingattitude.org.uk/home/home.asp).


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