If Obama really wants to make a strong statement about the sad and bad situation for gays in Nigeria and Uganda, he should make it easier for them to apply for asylum in the US...

[W]inning asylum in the United States is no easy feat. Granted, the U.S. has recognized LGBT status as grounds for asylum since 1994, but the government keeps no records on how many claims it grants.

"It's an unconscionably hard process to seek asylum in the United States of America," says Melanie Nathan, a California-based lawyer who works on behalf of LGBT asylum seekers. She says it's virtually impossible for someone to knock on the door of a U.S. embassy abroad and ask for and receive asylum.

"So what happens is, they come to America on other types of visas. They come to America on workshop conference visas, on visitor's visas," she says. "And once they are here, people have a year to apply for asylum. The average person — especially younger people in Uganda, for example — will never get that initial visa and don't have money even to fly here."

Also on Al Jazeera...

Aaron Morris, legal director at Immigration Equality, a national advocacy organization that assists LGBT individuals seeking asylum in the U.S. and promotes HIV immigration rights, told Al Jazeera he expected the number of Nigerians in the U.S. seeking his help to increase next month in response to the new law. In the first two months of 2014, 35 Nigerians contacted the organization for help, said communication director Diego Ortiz, compared with 52 in all of 2013.
At the center of Al Jazeera's post is Michael Ighodaro, a gay Nigerian who is rebuilding his life from scratch in NYC with the support of the LGBT community. One of the many things history teaches us is that sometimes it is better to leave rather than endure a bad situation.