Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
Africa

Nigeria bans gay marriage, gay rights groups; imposes 14 year prison terms

Thursday, May 30, 2013

ABUJA, Nigeria — Lawmakers in Nigeria passed a bill Thursday banning same-sex marriage and outlawing anyone from forming organizations supporting gay rights, setting prison terms of up to 14 years for offenders.

Nigeria’s House of Representatives approved the bill in a voice vote, likely sending it immediately to President Goodluck Jonathan for him to potentially sign into law in Africa’s most populous nation. Whether he will approve it remains unclear, and both the United States and the United Kingdom raised concerns over a measure that could put foreign funding for AIDS and HIV outreach programs in jeopardy.

Nigeria’s Senate previously passed the bill in November 2011 and the measure quietly disappeared for some time before coming up in Thursday’s session of the House. Under previous versions of the proposed law, couples who marry could face up to 14 years each in prison. Witnesses or anyone who helps couples marry could be sentenced to 10 years behind bars.

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.

While the bill read Thursday during the House session appeared to be similar, The Associated Press could not immediately obtain a copy of the version lawmakers passed. If there are differences between the House and Senate versions, a joint committee of lawmakers will have to first iron out those differences before sending it to the president.

Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.

Gay sex has been banned in Nigeria, a nation of more than 160 million people, since colonial rule by the British. Gays face open discrimination and abuse in a country divided by Christians and Muslims who almost uniformly oppose homosexuality. Across the African continent, many countries already have made homosexuality punishable by jail sentences.

Nigeria’s proposed law has drawn the interest of European Union countries, some of which already offer Nigeria’s sexual minorities asylum based on gender identity. The British government recently threatened to cut aid to African countries that violate the rights of gay and lesbian citizens. However, British aid remains quite small in oil-rich Nigeria, one of the top crude suppliers to the U.S.

A spokesman for the British High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, could not be immediately reached for comment.

The measure also could affect HIV and AIDS outreach programs funding by USAID, an arm of the U.S. government.

Nigeria has the world’s third-largest population of people living with HIV and AIDS. A spokesman at the U.S. Embassy could not be immediately reached.

© 2013, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , , ,

Filed under: Africa

84 more reader comments:

  1. Just when I was planning that long awaited vacation…

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:17am
  2. *crosses Nigeria off of bucket list*

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:18am
  3. there stuipd

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:18am
  4. Some low educated people take longer to change for the better.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:21am
  5. Nigeria, welcome to the past. The ancient past…

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:21am
  6. That’s fucking bullshit.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:22am
  7. And another check mark for humanity failing

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:22am
  8. sad

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:22am
  9. If you want to go to Africa then the only countries that you could really go if you are Gay is South Africa, Botswana and Namibia the rest are off the list. Sad I want to go to Kenya, Egypt and Zambia. I would like to Nigeria too but not any more after this.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:23am
  10. you can probably thank some of our radical fundeMENTAList ‘missionaries’ for some of this…

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:23am
  11. Good bye Nigeria… Hopefully you won’t need any help from anybody anytime soon…

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:23am
  12. hey now! thats an excellent place for american bigots to move to. next time someone says “if gays can get married i dont want to be american” i can give them a map to nigeria.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:24am
  13. very true.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:25am
  14. instead of bombing iran and iraq we should be going in there and fighting for civl rights, oh wait, they don’t have oil so we don’t care thats it. Isn’t there anything we civilized people can do?

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:26am
  15. So sad..I will never go there..feel sorry for their people

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:27am
  16. I REALLY don’t Understand this Deep Fear and HATRED of Gay People in Africa ?

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:31am
  17. Matthew, honestly, I was just being sarcastic, but I agree with you. I am really starting to get to the point to with all of the anti-gay shit across the world. One, not only do I find it insulting in even our country of ‘we want your tax money and for you to spend your hard earned cash with us, but otherwise, you welcomed’ bullshit. But I honestly do believe that there there is a mindset behind all this stuff that ‘you know, if we make it hard on the gays, they will confirm to what we are needing them do”…sorry that mentality is not going to work. While there are many that take offense to this, the ‘gay’ is the ‘black’ of the 1950′s era. Too many of us want us to entertain them, do their hair, design their clothes gardens and homes, but to call us ‘real people’, for some, it’s unheard of.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:33am
  18. Third world country, third world laws.. fuck that country

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:34am
  19. thats tru guy, but in this country we proove education is no defense against hate and ignorance

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:36am
  20. Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:37am
  21. They should really change the name from Nigeria to dah lol… It seems a horrid area of the world anyway… Any gay person should just get the hell out of there.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:41am
  22. Well darn, now where am I going to go to get dysentery?

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:42am
  23. Expect any less from what used to be one of the world’s largest exports of blood diamonds?

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:43am
  24. why would anybody in their sane mind even travel to this country?

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:45am
  25. human rights disaster. Get the UN in there and ask them to reconsider from inside of a tank.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:45am
  26. It’s a mixture of things. The assumed association with HIV/AIDS, the teaching of ministers from developed nations, and the highly fundamentalist religious views of the leaders.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:46am
  27. Disgusting.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:46am
  28. Read the article. They do have oil…

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:46am
  29. Not surprizing

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:57am
  30. Fools !!!

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 10:29am
  31. the religious right from the states said they were going to take their anti-equality/ anti-Jesus hate to other countries.. looks like they have done that very thing..

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 10:29am
  32. Not a thing to like.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 10:48am
  33. Idiocy rules obviously.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:08am
  34. These idiots are never gonna learn bigotry never wins

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:25am
  35. Teri it’s living & breathing in American backwater & within the evil bigotry of the westboro baptist church & the parasites that frequent their meetings to spout their hatred & abuse

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:27am
  36. ffukking retarded!!!!!!!!!!:(

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:44am
  37. how

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:47am
  38. Horrid!!

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:59am
  39. 3rd World…

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:40pm
  40. Need to move FORWARD and not BACKWARDS!

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:41pm
  41. Another country I need not visit….Ever!

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:42pm
  42. Fucked up Country

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:42pm
  43. A place that shall never see a penny from me

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:45pm
  44. stupid…get in this century people..really.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:46pm
  45. I am so glad my love doesn’t live there anymore.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:46pm
  46. Band AID to them and Uganda!

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:47pm
  47. What, can we expect from a country, such as Nigeria, only these barbarics acts.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:48pm
  48. maybe this is not the right time for them… but time will pass.. being different to men and women is not about marriage.. marriage is not the meassure for who really u are… . if ur gay, transgender.. lesbian.. or transexual.. or bisexual…. all they need is love .. acceptance and care… .. then .. thats the time they will prove to others and to their selves that they truly deserve something for a peaceful place to live life in this earth…

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:48pm
  49. Nigeria is so primitive, this country is in cave age. again folks what to expect from such a country, as Nigeria.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:49pm
  50. boooo! down with nigeria!

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:50pm
  51. lets not critisize them… rather we must respect their decisions..

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:51pm
  52. Pray for this country

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:54pm
  53. My wife is from Nigeria and yes even though we wish it would be different we have to respect their differences just like we wish for them to respect ours… Doesn’t mean we have to agree or like a decision just respect theirs

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:56pm
  54. typical African barbarism

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:58pm
  55. :(

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:58pm
  56. Yep, lets also respect nations that want black people as slaves. #NO.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 8:59pm
  57. This was brought on by the christian movement to bible thump under the guise of “aide”. Puhleeze.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:01pm
  58. You can’t tell another nation how to run their country no matter how messed up and wrong their laws are in our eyes… Just don’t go there… We as LGBT want to be accepted and recognized for our beliefs but the minute someone doesn’t agree with or support us everyone wants to cry about injustice… Yes it’s messed up what Nigeria is doing and no I don’t agree with it… But just like I can choose who’s house to go over I can choose not to go to Nigeria or any other country that doesn’t accept me… Why would you knowingly put yourself in a position that can and possibly will have a negative outcome… I’m not going to bash them our lose sleep over something I can’t control… But I feel bad for my wife because she can never go back home to visit because if this…

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:11pm
  59. theocracy…sort of wha tthe chrisitan right wants the US to be

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:14pm
  60. Nigeria’s main export to us is petroleum cocoa and rubber products. The more we ween ourselves off their producrs the better.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:14pm
  61. Fuck em!!!

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:14pm
  62. Nigeria has so many issues, LBGT rights is only one of them.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:21pm
  63. gross

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:23pm
  64. Nice going, Nigeria. Morons.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:24pm
  65. and lets respect nations that trow u in jail for being gay up to 14 years. (whats you in for man, “o i comitted a great offence” you killed little kids? “”na im gay”….they all scream and runs yea right …wake up people they have gone too far.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:51pm
  66. o and on that note, i hope they take a good look at what happens next. c if this is what they really want. stupid christians, not God just his stupidfollowers that called themselves his followers.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:53pm
  67. SO SO SAD!

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:53pm
  68. are you on drugs?

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:54pm
  69. really? na i dont think so. i think instead of a gay possion i more c a hatetred possesion. which is more real

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:56pm
  70. thats some scary shit

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 9:56pm
  71. You have to remember Africa isnt with the program their minds are in the pre colonization stages. Think about it much of Sub Saharan Africa back in the day before slavery were not practicing Islam and Christianity but ever since those religions had dominated much of those Sub Saharan countries the traditional ones are gone and mostly Islam and Christianity are anti gay. So having that being forced on them they had no choice and now are pretty much brainwashed generation after generation after generation its a cycle. The ideology is still being practiced and taught but with hate and it seems like its getting worse. However back in the day before slavery, homosexuality wasnt a big deal back then like how most of us westerns feel. Its weird/ironic people who practice Voodoo mostly accept gays and lesbians yet Christianity and Islam dont. Yet Voodoo has a reputation of being soooooo horrible! Even though its mix with African Traditional beliefs and Roman Catholicism.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 10:03pm
  72. Fuck Nigeria!

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 10:03pm
  73. Shakira, the point you are Missing is that the LGBT community there now has NO voice. They will depend on the International Community to advocate for their rights, the same way the Community has fought persecution in other areas in the past (Think how Apartheid was finally defeated with the help of years of International Protests and Sanctions). Simply sitting back and Saying Nothing, Doing Nothing is EXACTLY how despots, tyrants, and dictators like Hitler, Milosevic, or Pol Pot seized power and Killed Millions!! Why would anyone who is a Proud LGBTQ person simply ignore the plight of our brothers/sisters in Need???! SMDH… Sad.

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 10:11pm
  74. Exactly!!!

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 10:12pm
  75. Not, a big surprise… seeing, as that is where MOST all of the internet predators and scammers live!!!
    p.s. Nigeria, YOU’RE A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY…. “like, we give a shit!!”

    Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 10:51pm
  76. Religious driven ideologies always persecute one group or another..to go as far as banning is going to come to more murders…a lady on here says we shouldnt tell ppl how to run things…maybe not..so why are the uk and usa in other countries fighting…without support ppl will die..jus as they did in rawanda and such…color.. group differences… sexuality… murder always takes place.. put these lot under pressure.

    Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013 at 12:00am
  77. My point is… Why bash and call names and talk trash about a country or anybody who’s beliefs are different than ours… Yes I’m a proud LGBT woman but me pointing fingers and name calling is not going to make them like me any more than they are now… How about trying to change things by doing something positive instead of feeding into the negativity… do I like their decisions? Heck no but I’m not going to point fingers and name call and bash a country because of their laws… If rather show them they are wrong instead of tell them…I’m not ignoring what’s going on I’m taking a different approach on changing what’s wrong… Yes our LGBT brothers and sisters don’t have a voice there but if they were to read some of these comments I honestly think they wouldn’t want our voice to be heard in their country… Negativity breeds Negativity how about doing something positive to change it… That’s all I’m saying

    Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013 at 2:21am
  78. If you want to change Nigerias mind about what they are doing start at home first you can’t tell them how to run their country if your not doing anything to change yours… Stop being ugly, boycotting and being negative that’s not going to make things better at all… Change starts at home and from within if your not doing anything at home how can you expect them to listen to us in Nigeria or any other country… Positivity breeds positivity… Negativity breeds negativity… You choose

    Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013 at 2:34am
  79. Expell them from the British Commonwealth, forthwith!

    Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013 at 3:45am
  80. Boo!

    Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013 at 4:30am
  81. all in the name of religion, I bet

    Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013 at 4:32am
  82. Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013 at 5:41am
  83. Wow Sara!! Aren’t you just a breath of shit in the air!!! Wow! Get a grip lady!! Speaking of “fuck”. Sounds like u need your vibrator, you must be single!!!!

    Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013 at 7:56am
  84. If I was in Nigeria, I’d be arrested in a second. #gayrights

    Posted on Friday, May 31, 2013 at 8:51am