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GLN to Host Nigerian Gay Leader As Part of National Tour

Nigerian gay leader Davis Mac-Iyalla, an activist who has been organizing against church and governmental anti-gay repression in his country, will speak at a GLN-organized Pride month forum in Chicago. The event will be at 7 PM, Friday, June 8th at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 621 W. Belmont Avenue, Chicago.

Mac-Iyalla is currently living in exile following repeated death threats that forced him to leave his native Nigeria. He is an outspoken supporter of gays and lesbians in the Anglican church of Nigeria, and is the founder of Changing Attitude Nigeria, an LGBT advocacy organization within the church (for info go to http://www.changingattitude.org.uk/home/home.asp).

Besides the GLN forum, Mac-Iyalla will also be speaking at a meeting of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church, the US affiliate of the global Anglican Communion. The bishops of the Episcopal Church recently voted to reject a compromise with anti-gay Anglicans led by the Nigerian archbishop, Peter Akinola, that would have ended consecrating openly gay bishops and the blessing of same-sex unions in the US church.

Bishop Akinola also has been one of the foremost proponents of a draconian anti-gay bill which would prohibit not only same-sex marriage, but all gay gatherings, public displays of same sex affection, and advocacy of homosexuality, targeting heterosexual and gay Nigerians alike. Following much international criticism, for the time being the Nigerian government has decided not to push the new law, but celebrations may be premature. Christian and Muslim leaders have vied with each other to see who is the more anti-gay, and the bill could easily be resurrected in another session of Nigeria's legislature.

In addition to his June 8th GLN forum, Davis Mac-Iyalla will appear on GLN's Chicago Access Network TV show at 6:30 PM on Friday, June 1 (cable channel 21 in Chicago), and besides several other media appearances to be announced.

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