Other Sheep and Maranatha of The Riverside Church, New York City 
Sponsor February 17th LGBT Forum:
Present-day experiences of gay Christians in Kenya and Nigeria
Gay activists Kamau of Kenya and Mac-Iyalla of Nigeria to speak at The Riverside Church (New York City) LGBT February 17th Forum.  Jose Ortiz of Other Sheep joins as 3rd panelist.
Speakers' Bio Information
Sunday, February 17,
1-3 PM
The Riverside Church, Manhattan
Room 411 MLK
This Sunday, February 17:
Emmanuel Kamau of Kenya and Davis Mac-Iyalla of Nigeria will address the topic of the present day-experiences of gay Christians in Kenya and Nigeria at a forum sponsored by Maranatha and Other Sheep on Sunday, Feb. 17, 1-3 PM, at The Riverside Church (New York City), room 411 MLK.  Jose Ortiz, Other Sheep co-Coordinator for Africa, will join the panel discussion.  Ortiz recently visited Nairobi and conducted four weeks of discussion groups with LGBT Kenyans.
Panel Speaker Emmanuel Kamau of Kenya

Photo:  Emmanuel Kamau, March 2007, NYC.  Photo by Steve Parelli.
Email Kamau:
The New York Times
Feb. 15, 2008
Other Sheep co-Coordinator for Africa

by STEVE PARELLI, Bronx, NY.        Emmanuel Kamau, of Nairobi, Kenya, founded Ishtar MSM in 1997.  He was its director for ten years, until Feb. 2007, when he fled Kenya for fear of his life.  Ishtar MSM - Men who have Sex with Men -is an organization that works for HIV / AIDS prevention, care and support among gay men in Kenya.  Kamau, as Director of Ishtar MSM, was part of a Kenyan Government task force called The National AIDS Control Council.  As a spokesperson for HIV/AIDS prevention, Kamau has spoken to a committee at the United Nations in New York City, and at meetings in Ghana, Gambia, South Africa, India and Cambodia.  In Feb. 2007, at the World Social Forum held in Nairobi, Kenya, Kamau came out as a gay man to his fellow Kenyans.  The death threats that followed caused him to seek asylum in the Untied States.  Today he resides in Texas where he awaits the outcome of his appeal for asylum.


In March of 2007, Emmanuel, a Charismatic Catholic, visited Jose and Steve of Other Sheep in their Bronx apartment to urge them to go to Nairobi, Kenya, to minister to the spiritual needs of LGBTs.  After working with gay men for ten years in Kenya, Emmanuel was deeply concerned that his fellow LGBT Kenyans were not being ministered to on a spiritual level.  Jose and Steve answered 'yes' to Emmanuel's plea for assistance. 


In Africa, Emmanuel is also known as "Auntie Ivy" among gay men for his ability to counsel others in matters of gay relationships.  In places in Africa, it is customary for the aunt of the household to counsel the young men on courtship.  Hence, he has earned the nickname "Auntie Ivy."  


As of January 1 of this year, Emmanuel began serving as Other Sheep's co-Coordinator for Africa, a volunteer position.

Panel Speaker Mac-Iyalla of Nigeria

Above Photo:  Davis Mac-Iyalla with Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, at The Church of the Holy Apostles, NYC, June 19, 2007.  Photo by Steve Parelli.
Director of Changing Attitude - Nigeria

by STEVE PARELLI, Bronx, NY.     Davis Mac-Iyalla of Nigeria is the Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria, a support group for LGBTs in Nigeria and West Africa.  Mac-Iyalla is a lay minister in the Anglican Church of Nigeria. Since the ordination of Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson (New Hampshire, USA) and the death of Mac-Iyalla's mentor, Bishop Ugede of Otukpo, Mac-Iyalla says he has faced strong opposition from religious and political leaders in Nigeria for his pro-LGBT ministry.  He is visiting the United States on his second tour to the Episcopal/ Anglican Communion in the USA.  After finishing his tour in the United States, Mac-Iyalla will tour in England before returning to Nigeria. 


Recently, in Kenya, the Anglican Archbishop of Kenya suspended Rev. Michael Kimindu, an Anglican priest, from his duties for his open support of LGBTs and for his close work with Other Sheep.  Mac-Iyalla has publicly  voiced his support of the Kenyan Anglican priest and all LGBTs in Kenya and East Africa.

Email Mac-Iyalla:  [email protected]

Panel Speaker Jose Ortiz,  participant in the Kenya-Uganda Other Sheep ministry 2007

Above photoJose Ortiz, left, with partner Steve Parelli, Mexico 2005.  Photo by Steve Parelli
Email Jose Ortiz:
Other Sheep co-Coordinator for Africa

by STEVE PARELLI, Bronx, NY.        Jose Ortiz, an American who resides in the Bronx, holds a bachelor's degree in Bible from Columbia International University of South Carolina and a Masters in Applied Psychology from New York University (NYU). He works as a school counselor in a public middle school in Riverdale, New York. Jose volunteers with Other Sheep as Coordinator for Asia and USA Latinos as well as co-Coordinator for Africa.  On behalf of Other Sheep and with his life partner, Steve Parelli, Executive Director of Other Sheep, Jose has traveled  to Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Kenya and Uganda, conducting seminars, speaking to local groups, canvassing, and giving newspaper, TV and radio interviews.  Invited by Ishtar MSM, Jose and Steve traveled to Kenya last summer where, among other things, they hosted and led LGBT discussion groups for four weeks in their apartment.

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Second Mailing of "Present-day experiences of gay Christians in Kenya and Nigeria"

February 15, 2008