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Nigeria Senate approves wide-ranging anti-gay marriage bill

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nigeria’s Senate has passed an “anti-gay marriage” bill, extending its scope by also criminalizing gay clubs and organizations, and making public displays of affection between gays punishable with 10 years imprisonment.

Under the proposed law, gay couples who marry could face up to 14 years each in prison. Witnesses or anyone who helps gay couples marry could be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Other additions to the bill include making it illegal to register gay clubs or organizations, as well as criminalizing the “public show of same-sex amorous relationships directly or indirectly.” Those who violate those laws would face 10-year imprisonment as well.

The bill must still be passed by Nigeria’s House of Representatives and signed by President Goodluck Jonathan before becoming law.

“The Nigeria senators have further demonstrated their hate, discrimination and oppression of vulnerable LGBT Nigerians. I call on all respected human rights activists to join forces with us to fight the bill,” said Davis Mac Iyalla campaign director of the Nigerian LGBT in diaspora group.

The campaign group expressed its concerns that the bill would further turn many LGBT Nigerians living in diaspora into asylum seekers and refugees.

“This bill violates the equality and non-discrimination guarantees of Article 42 of the Nigerian Constitution and Articles 2 and 3 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, which Nigeria has signed and pledged to uphold,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights advocacy organization, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

“There is a good chance that this bill, and Nigeria’s long-standing criminalization of same-sex relations, can be challenged in the courts. This could be a future option for LGBTI campaigners and human rights defenders,” he said.

Gay sex has been banned in Nigeria, a nation of more than 160 million people, since colonial rule by the British. Gays and lesbians face open discrimination and abuse in a country divided by Christians and Muslims who almost uniformly oppose homosexuality.

In the areas in Nigeria’s north where Islamic Shariah law has been enforced for about a decade, gays and lesbians can face death by stoning.

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Filed under: Africa

35 more reader comments:

  1. smfh

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:06pm
  2. wth??

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:06pm
  3. Dislike. D;

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:06pm
  4. ;-/

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:07pm
  5. fuck them sum ppl will neva change

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:07pm
  6. Oh wow . . .

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:07pm
  7. I am so grateful to live in a land were i can be my gay self

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:08pm
  8. Facepalm @ Nigeria Senate

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:08pm
  9. :/ dang.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:08pm
  10. next up: anti-brunette………..or anti-50+ laws…..ridiculous

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:10pm
  11. at lest they are not trying to force others to go along with it…(others meaning other nations)

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:14pm
  12. i cant believe this.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:16pm
  13. im sueing commercials that advertise they need help to feed africans. FUCK THEM

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:17pm
  14. Haha!! Love it James!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:23pm
  15. what a shame, and james are you saying fuck all africans because a small minded bunch of people on the nigerian senate have passed this law?

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:36pm
  16. Unlike

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:47pm
  17. This is revolting. Imprisoning people for their personal orientation is pathetic. This is like a less-intense version of the holocaust. Way to go Nigeria

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 3:56pm
  18. SO utterly pathetic!! Sooo sad. Just hurts my soul…it is almost 2012, and I so feel like we are going backwards!!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 4:17pm
  19. WTF.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 4:23pm
  20. Wtffff? Another battle to be won…the battle of equality and rationality.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 4:32pm
  21. Talk about backward!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 4:35pm
  22. My Nigerian partner for the last 5 years was beside herself when I showed her this article…All we can do is hope for change, and pray for those who must deal with this hatred on a daily basis

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 4:37pm
  23. sigh, how sad :(

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 4:59pm
  24. horrible news. i don’t understand what they’re so afraid of…

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 5:32pm
  25. Ridiculous.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 5:46pm
  26. wtf

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 5:59pm
  27. Absolutely terrible, what the hell is wrong with the goverment in that’s country. They should spend more time worrying about the people of Nigeria rather than there sexual orientations. Thank god not every country is like this but just by nigeria being like it is bad enough. Crazy it is.

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 6:13pm
  28. boycott nigeria

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 7:00pm
  29. CRAZY SHIT

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 7:07pm
  30. OMG!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 7:20pm
  31. Good thing I don’t donate to some of these African countries. The money mostly goes to the idiot politicians and their sheeple.

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 12:29am
  32. Nothing suprises me….shit hole backward nations like Nigeria can rot for all i care, its the 21st century, its horrible.

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 12:56am
  33. Nigeria is making a huge mistake against humanity!

    Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 6:39am
  34. The morons in Nigeria can’t even feed themselves and they’re worrying about a boy liking another boy or a girl liking another girl? LOL. You’d think they’d spend their scant resources on something more productive. In Nigeria and other countries, they still kill people as witches, and Uganda (the virtuous country that brought us Idi Amin), is all up in arms because there might be gays amongst them. Is it any wonder Africa is such a backward, poor, uneducated, disease ridden, crime infested continent? Homosexuals around the world need to start taking WHATEVER actions are necessary to secure their human rights. It is patently unfair that gays and their families suffer from the devastating effects of discrimination, while the bigots leave their lives as if nothing has happened. Bigots need to be made to pay for their discriminatory actions. And by the way, if those gay Nigerians are sent to jail, the judge, jailers, and politicians (and their families) that send them there, should be attacked and people all over the world should attack Nigerian citizens in their countries. Before the U.N. talks to any African country or organization, the U.N. should demand that the backward, intolerant nations remove laws criminalizing homosexuality. These repulsive countries discriminate against, harass, imprison, torture, and murder their own citizens who happen to be homosexual. Until those practices are ended, no country, group, or individual should provide any aid or assistance to these countries. These disgusting countries should be boycotted, sanctions should be brought against them, and they should be treated as pariah nations.

    Posted on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 10:48pm
  35. With 50-60 percent of the Nigerian population live below poverty line. Persistent government corruption that adds to poverty and hunger of millions, the Nigerian government is concerned about a group of people who only want to love each other. Shame! Lest we remind the Nigerian government that there is no moral value on which they can stand.

    Posted on Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 1:07pm