PATRICK OBI, Lagos bureau writes on the formal US legality of same sex marriage, the ongoing practice of homosexuality and lesbianism in spite of the law against it and worries over Buhari’s visit to Obama. 
The Christian Holy Book, The Bible had in Genesis chapter 19 described how God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for its evil and wickedness which bothers majorly on the practice of Homosexuality.
In the present day world, the largest democracy, United States of America where many countries of the world copies its model of governance took a step back to the Biblical days of Sodom and Gomorrah. 
The US Supreme court in its recent ruling on gay marriage Obergefell v. Hodges said that States cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions with a 5-4 judge’s decision.
The gay marriage ruling threw gay couples and supporters into a frenzied jubilation as they view it as a victory for love and equal dignity in the eyes of the law. 
With US supporting Gay marriage, it follows acceptance in other Western
countries which includes Ireland, Britain, France and Spain in allowing gay marriage, which is also legal in South Africa, Brazil and Canada amongst others. 
In many parts of Africa and Asia, the practice of homosexuality remains a taboo and frowned at, as because it is against the culture of the people and illegal with jail terms or death penalty in some cases.
For Many Africans, it was shocking when the US President, Barack Obama which many see as having African root speaking at the White House, praised the Supreme Court’s ruling, saying it arrived “like a thunderbolt” after a series of back-and-forth battles over same-sex
Obama said the ruling “will strengthen all of our communities” by offering dignity and equal status to all same-sex couples and their families calling the ruling “a victory for America.”
While the US Conservatives mainly whites condemned the ruling with Republican presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, saying its “an out-of-control act of unconstitutional judicial tyranny “,Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker, who is expected to run for president, called for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to allow states to again ban same-sex marriage.
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott said, “Marriage was defined by God. No man can redefine it.”
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, “It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.”
With opponents saying same-sex marriages legality should be decided by states, not judges while others argued that it is an
affront to traditional marriage between a man and a woman and that the Bible condemns homosexuality.
In a chat with Nigerian Sunday Pilot, a US based Nigerian Catholic priest, who does not want his name in print said, “My brother, each day’s problem crops up but God has a way out for us. It will certainly influence many but I know it is all about political correctness which a healthier generation will sweep aside. 
“But it’s going to do more harm for now.  Let’s watch and pray for our leaders as they certainly need the light of grace for conversion and steadfastness.”
In Nigeria with its deep rooted religious and traditional beliefs, the acceptance of the practice of homosexuality in the society is a taboo and unconstitutional. 
In 2014, former President Goodluck Jonathan signed a law authorizing prison sentences of up to 14 years for people in same-sex unions and 10 years for any “person or group of
persons who supports the registration, operation and sustenance of gay clubs, societies, organizations, processions or meetings.”
Many western countries frowned at the law as barbaric and discrimination on the fundamental human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, LGBT.
Progress’ Campaigners say the laws are among the most draconian anywhere – and impose a sentence of up to 14 years in prison for same-sex couples.
Nigeria’s foremost gay and activist, Bisi Alimi, in a recent report published by the PEN American Center and the New York-based Leitner Center for International Law and Justice, said that the law is “the constitutionalization of hate and hate crimes against LGBT individuals.”
A recent opinion poll commissioned by Gay rights activists, suggests that 87% of people in Nigeria support the legal ban on same-sex relations, stressing that the number is lower than five years ago, when 96% of
Nigerians opposed relationships between same-sex couples which showed attitudes towards gay people were changing, albeit slowly.
The poll had about 1,000 people across Nigeria taking part through telephone calls and commissioned by gay rights groups, including the Bisi Alimi Foundation.
According to BBC reports, the poll indicates that only about one in six people said they knew someone who was openly homosexual while the number almost doubled for people in their late teens and early twenties.
It reported that about 30% of respondents said gay, lesbian and bisexual people should have access to public services such as education and healthcare.
Gay activists, including the Bisi Alimi Foundation, see this as progress.
They believe the survey shows that the tide is slowly turning towards acceptance. Alimi however urged President Muhammadu Buhari to end the legalized discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender and intersex minorities, charging that it denies freedom of expression and other constitutional rights.
Checks by Nigerian Sunday Pilot however shows that while Nigeria constitution punishes homosexuality nevertheless the practice is still ongoing in different parts of the country though done secretly in clubs and underground meeting places. 
Ex-lesbian, Funmilola Ayotade, told this paper that the practice is growing like wildfire in the country because of poverty and unemployment among the youths.
She said that it is rampant with high and mighty of the society, top government officials, politicians, religious houses, schools and entertainment world.
According to her, “Most of these people offer as much as #50,000 a night to a willing partners which are mostly youths and they are enticed with such huge amount.
“What is needed is a proper orientation and education of this evil and government should provide jobs for the teeming unemployed youths because an idle mind is a devil’s workshop.”
With the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari scheduled to meet his US counterpart, President Barack Obama at the White House on July 20 to discuss ways of fighting the Boko Haram militant group, among other issues, the worries of some Nigerians is that pressure from the White House and its allies may make Nigerian government repeal the law on homosexuals with the recent support gotten from America on the fight against Boko Haram. 
Speaking to Nigerian Sunday Pilot on the US’ legalization of gay marriage, Pastor Mike Igbo, presiding pastor, Sword of the word bible ministry, Lagos, said that what is happening is the fulfilment of God’s word which must surely come to pass. 
He said, “If you take into consideration all the happenings around the world, there is no faulting it that our generation is living in the last days which points to the second coming of Jesus Christ.
“According to Matthew 24:33 : ‘So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.’
“We are certainly seeing what’s happening with many people turning away completely from the truth which is what is happening today in America and other parts of the world, claiming marriage is no more a union between a man and a woman as God ordained it but between a man and a man or woman and a woman.
“This same event that most people were jubilating and commending on TV is what led to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah but it is not their fault but what is written that must happen.
“There is nothing we can do about all these happenings because they have been foretold thousands of years ago and no matter what we do we cannot stop God’s word from coming to pass.
“All we need is the grace of God and repent from our evil and wicked lifestyles so that we don’t end in eternal damnation, “he said.
An Islamic cleric, Alfa Abdulwaasi Umar, Imam, Oshodi local government secretariat, Oshodi, said that homosexuality is an abomination and taboo.
He said, “It is a taboo and abomination as Islam abhors it and anyone caught in such practice will be stoned to death just as the Bible also condemns such acts.
“America may do whatever they like but in Nigerian constitution it is a criminal act which is punishable by jail term.
“I don’t think President Buhari will accept such advice to repeal the law in Nigeria because as a strict disciplinarian and Moslem it is against the tenets of Islam.”
Also reacting, Evangelist Eddy Ikechukwu, said that it cannot work in Nigeria because we have a culture and tradition that forbids such. And scripturally it is against God according to genesis 2:24. ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.’ The so called advanced countries should know that, a wife is not a man, a wife is a woman.
My advice to President Buhari is ‘Spare no cost for truth’s sake, neither depart from it for any
gain. -Proverbs 23:23’. He should let Obama know that Nigeria has a culture which has lived with us and it is a taboo in this part of the world for same sex marriage and no legislation can alter that.
Speaking from the traditional angle, Mazi Emeka Ilechukwu, a traditionalist said that such acts as homosexual is abhorred by the land.
According to him, “It is a shameful thing for someone to practice such act as same sex relationship as the land rejects it. It is an abominable act which could bring plagues or diseases to a community if not quickly detected and the land cleansed.
“Our people have allowed the white men way of life to infiltrate our cultures and traditions which is why there are so many diseases with no cure flying around.
“We should go back to the ways of our forefathers and it shall be well with us and this country will be prosperous again.”

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