A group of Afro-American LGBTQ legislators gathered outside the Nigerian Embassy in Washington to voice their disapproval of the arrest and public display of 67 gay individuals at a same-sex wedding in Delta State. According to the Washington Blade, the protestors included members of the U.S. House of Delegates, such as Gabriel Aceve, Krystal Oriadha, Ashanti Martinez, and the Director of Public Policy and Programs of the National Black Justice Coalition, Victoria Kirby York.
Bright Edafe, the spokesperson for the Delta State police, reported that law enforcement had apprehended a cross-dresser who confessed to being a member of a gay club and was attending a gay wedding ceremony. This arrest led to the discovery of the ceremony venue, the Teebolus Hotel in Warri. The engaged couple were Daniel Pius and 22-year-old Maxwel Ohwonohwo.
Since this incident, there have been widespread discussions as homosexual relationships are illegal in Nigeria. Nigeria’s anti-gay law, established in 2014, mandates a 14-year prison sentence for anyone found guilty of homosexual relations.
During the protest, Gabriel Acevero, a Maryland State Delegate, stated that queer Nigerians did not pose a threat to Nigeria’s identity or national security, unlike groups such as Boko Haram. Victoria Kirby York, of Nigerian descent, expressed her fear of visiting Nigeria as an openly declared lesbian. Ashanti Martinez emphasized the significance of diversity and inclusion, criticizing Nigeria’s discriminatory laws. Krystal Oriadha refuted the notion that homosexuality is a Western concept, while Zachary Parker discussed gender identity and sexual orientation-based discriminations and violence in the U.S. and other countries.