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Nigeria president signs bill outlawing same-sex marriage, gay rights groups

Monday, January 13, 2014
David Karp, APNigerian President Goodluck Jonathan

David Karp, AP
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan

ABUJA, Nigeria — Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan has signed a draconian anti-gay law banning same-sex marriage and outlawing anyone from forming organizations supporting gay rights, setting prison terms of up to 14 years for offenders.

“I can confirm that the president has signed the bill into law,” Goodluck Jonathan’s spokesman Reuben Abati told AFP, without specifying a date but adding that it happened earlier this month.

Abati said Jonathan signed off on the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2013 because it “was consistent with the attitudes of most people towards homosexuality in the West African nation”.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the measure on Monday, indicating Jonathan had signed it on January 7.

Far from being a ban on same-sex marriage or civil unions, the bill also criminalizes every aspect of being LGBT, hence its nickname: “Jail All The Gays.”

Under the bill, anyone suspected of being gay, whether they or not they have had a same-sex encounter, could be in violation of the law.

The bill punishes anyone attempting to instigate a same-sex marriage or civil union by 14 years imprisonment, and outlaws “gay clubs, societies and organizations, their sustenance, processions and meetings,” or anyone who helps them, imposing jail time of up to 10 years for offenders.

In addition, the bill prohibits the “public show of same-sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly.”

The bill defines same-sex civil union as any form of arrangement between people of the same-sex, which means any same-sex relationship could be punished with a 14-year jail term.

Additionally, Nigerian citizens must report to authorities any person who they suspect is gay, or risk themselves a five year jail term.

Gay Nigerians, their families, neighbors and loved ones have been in a state of panic since the country’s Senate passed the bill on Dec. 19, and have faced the new year with increasing fear that the bill would be signed into law.

Nigeria has refused calls from U.S. and European leaders, and organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, asking Jonathan to veto the bill.

Since the bill was first introduced in 2011, anti-gay sentiment and violence has been reportedly on the rise.

Homosexuality is already illegal in the federal system of Nigeria, and is punished in different states in varying degrees of severity.

But under the new law, the mere rumor of being gay in Nigeria could lead to violence, blackmail and imprisonment.

Davis Mac-Iyalla, a Nigerian LGBT rights advocate told LGBTQ Nation:

“Any form of assistance to LGBT people is now illegal, which may well translate into more young people becoming homeless and social and state violence,” Davis Mac-Iyalla, a Nigerian LGBT rights advocate told LGBTQ Nation. “Furthermore any safer sex prevention work with men having sex with men is now illegal and will surely exacerbate HIV infection rates and death from AIDS related illness.”

“The authorities and society will now feel safe and secure to persecute LGBT people violently, knowing that that the law supports them,” said Mac-Iyalla.

“Gay people will have the choice of facing mob ‘justice’ or being jailed by the state,” he said. “Those who try to lead some sort of unbearable life in hiding will always be at risk blackmail or worse.”

Mac-Iyalla said the international community must come out in full force to challenge the law.

“The world speaks about anti-gay laws in Russia, India and Uganda — now it’s time to speak out for LGBT Nigerians,” he said. “Barack Obama, David Cameron and the UN have not done enough. Their voices and actions are needed now.”

Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States was “deeply concerned” by a law that “dangerously restricts freedom of assembly, association, and expression for all Nigerians.”

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104 more reader comments:

  1. Boo! I cry foul!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:28pm
  2. Lol I’m laughing because I’m not surprised they are behind the Times anyway smh

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:28pm
  3. OMG!!!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:28pm
  4. Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:28pm
  5. 18 B.C. mindset…

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:29pm
  6. Parasite!!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:29pm
  7. bastard

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:30pm
  8. What will the LGBT people do?

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:30pm
  9. Such a shame that it’s 2014 and people are still making laws to stop people from being who they really are. They’re throwing them into a mold forcing them to pretend to be like everyone else. It’s either be like everyone else or go to prison. It’s madness.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:30pm
  10. When are you sheeple going to realize that giving others rights will NOT take away your own? They are called RIGHTS for a reason, & should NOT have to be voted on!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:31pm
  11. :(

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:33pm
  12. Unbelievable. :(

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:33pm
  13. Of course..Idiot

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:34pm
  14. Neanderthals in Europe & Primates in Africa !!! Join the human race, it’s called homo sapiens !!! Fuck your ancient ways and laws !!! Barbarians !!!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:34pm
  15. Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:34pm
  16. lol this dude look like Gucci mane before the ice cream cone tattoo!!!!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:34pm
  17. Hate is not logical.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:34pm
  18. sexuality isnt a choice…no ‘vote’ should be made on that…these religious nuts however …should be voted on…its a belief system..not a factual evidence based system that puts truth first…it puts ideology first…and thats stupid and results in stupid ideas and miseducation..

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:34pm
  19. Fucking jerks.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:34pm
  20. Corruption incorporated hiding behind their god! Shame on this rogue nation

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:35pm
  21. apparently a good portion of this world does not understand what “humanity” means

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:35pm
  22. Not surprised at all

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:35pm
  23. Bass Ackwards he is.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:36pm
  24. WHATEVER!!!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:36pm
  25. He may want to think about changing Goodluck Jonathan to Asshole Jonathan. More to the point, anyway.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:36pm
  26. Way to be on the wrong side of history. Hate to play the race card but not so long ago black people were fighting against impossible odds to be treated equally and not have rights based on something that yhey had no choice in. You would think perhaps he would remember thst now that he is in the position of the man who holds the whip. No one should be denied their rights based on ethnicity, sexual preferences or whether or not they freakin love marmite. No one. X

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:38pm
  27. Backward country, and, backward people!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:39pm
  28. faster and faster africa falls further into the hated past.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:41pm
  29. The international LGBT community should Boycott any product, exports from that country!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:42pm
  30. Their only major export is oil these days. I'm from there and sadly the major issue against this man is the fact that he makes the Mafia look like Boy Scouts and angels.

    Replied on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:46pm
  31. Welcome back to caveman days Nigeria

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:42pm
  32. Is anyone else reminded of 19th century England?

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:44pm
  33. Closed minded idiots!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:44pm
  34. stupid bastards… denying what is staring you in the face… some of the assholes in this country are no better.. sad sad people..

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:45pm
  35. Well now American anti-gay Republicans have a place to move to so they can feel more free!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:48pm
  36. Another place to NOT visit

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:48pm
  37. These poor souls are so backwards. Funny how you see this in the backwards third world countries….perhaps our southern preachers and rebups should consider relocating.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:49pm
  38. Dumb Ass!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:51pm
  39. LOL nigeria is a shitty muslim-dog country anyway

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:53pm
  40. There’s a special place in hell for him and his ilk!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:54pm
  41. disgusting

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:56pm
  42. Why are some people so full of hate? Poor Nigerian and Ugandan LGBT community

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:56pm
  43. Don’t they have bigger fish to fry?
    Starvation? Flies? Civil unrest?
    I don’t know much about this country but aren’t they the poster country that wants USA to empty our pockets for.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:56pm
  44. Once they don’t have gays to kick around, who’s next? I hate being the cause of all the evil in the world. (At least that’s what Pat Robertson says of me.)

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:56pm
  45. Another mind poisoned by radical missionaries.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 4:59pm
  46. Wow my country (other country as im american) sucks

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:00pm
  47. One Huge Step backwards and American Evangelicals started it!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:02pm
  48. Fuck him !

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:03pm
  49. Sicking

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:03pm
  50. It was only 50 years since cannibalism was outlawed…What did you expect? Imagine a country full of Jeffrey Dormers.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:04pm
  51. That’s so horrible…

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:07pm
  52. what an asshole…

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:07pm
  53. The presence of anti-gay clergy from the US in Africa is causing horrendous social damage

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:08pm
  54. Vile. I wonder if maybe we wrote letters… if a million of us wrote letters to him explaining what that’s a disgusting and harmful thing to do.. if it would help.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:10pm
  55. He needs Shooting !!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:12pm
  56. foolish and very frightening

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:12pm
  57. that is what happens when politicians take hold of people personal lives, they turn it to suit their thinking….

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:13pm
  58. I suppose..we’d just write to Goodluck Jonathan, State House, Abuja Nigeria?

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:13pm
  59. He does have a Facebook page. I'd suggest not reading it though; you'd get a massive headache from the rambling.

    Replied on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:48pm
  60. Savage backward hate I will never support any aide to this tyrant!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:13pm
  61. N

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:14pm
  62. What else can we expect from a government firmly entrenched in rampant greed and ignorance?

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:15pm
  63. Whatever people think abt gay cause HIV or aids.. It was fake. Only if u have sex w many people. It can be to straight people too, not just gay.. People just like to make up abt LGBT so people can be fear.. Honestly many people who t anti LGBT just too stupid n not acceptable. They have no heart. LGBT is not alien either.. It is a natural of human. Well good luck w those people give LGBT hard time to fight the right.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:17pm
  64. Stop sending aid to these creeps until they get their act together.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:19pm
  65. Goddammit.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:20pm
  66. maybe we should remind these people they were once treated like shit also.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:22pm
  67. BULL SHIT!!!!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:23pm
  68. Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:29pm
  69. So sad to hear this.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:32pm
  70. Yikes. Its witch hunts all over again…

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:35pm
  71. Horrible. But don’t you feel happy that you live in a country where things like this don’t happen anymore…

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:36pm
  72. why don’t they just outlaw big lips and nappy heads?! its the same fucking thing!! primitive assholes!! smfh.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:37pm
  73. This is halfway a reality in the state I live.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:39pm
  74. sad

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:40pm
  75. Gross, ignorant and stupid! He joins a long list of bigoted and discriminatory countries that try to outlaw human nature! I have the money to travel to Nigeria, but will never spend a dime there and intend to avoid anything associated with these obnoxious countries!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:44pm
  76. Nigeria president needs to support equality for all people in his country. Exclusion of gays will not further and help Nigeria progress from the dark ages.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:51pm
  77. Who has the right to dictate to someone, how they should live………………….no one should have that right!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:52pm
  78. We need to cut off all aid to his country an remove the us citizenship from those idiots that convenced the leaders of that country to make us outlaws.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:54pm
  79. Go to hell you fucker!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:56pm
  80. Hi Nigeria, I hope nobody offers you a helping hand or any type of compassion, for the hate that you infuse into your people may not haunt you now, but future ramifications will be insurmountable. That is all, love from all the gays!!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:57pm
  81. Nigeria, he won’t last long!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:58pm
  82. What do you guys expect from someone that gross looking. Not surprise at all.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:59pm
  83. KISS MY GRITS! Nigeria :*..SAY GOODBYE TO TOURISM.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 5:59pm
  84. So sad that people are just so narrow minded and evil

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:01pm
  85. Boooooooooooooooooo!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:05pm
  86. Whilst I condemn any action which denies people their rights, you have to remember these countries are grappling with the concept of democracy letalone gay marriage. There are deeply religious people who’s views will in time die out. It’s a matter of waiting.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:09pm
  87. Ignorance…is not going anywhere,

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:09pm
  88. Gerald Gerald Panuthos. lmao

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:10pm
  89. he looks like a asshole anyway

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:12pm
  90. so then I think they should OUTLAW interracial marriages then. But in the end we all are human we all bleed the same color RED so what’s the problem. so what if a man/man or a woman/woman wants to get married. no different than your situation you are black and you have that right to marry any woman other than black right well then you have no reason to talk. let us fight for our right as a human being to love whomever we choose. cause after all LOVE IS LOVE, in my opinion if you outlaw same sex/human marriages then we need to outlaw interracial marriages as well meaning blacks can only marry backs, whites can only marry whites and so on. just saying, I’m not racist, I’m not predigious by all means I do however believe in EQUALITY for all PEACE LOVE HARMONY

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:20pm
  91. This is a disgrace shame on the President of Nigeria

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:25pm
  92. Cut off all foreign aid to these clowns and see how fast their attitude changes.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:26pm
  93. Once again a proof why africa is a backwards continent. Just a shame some of us have to live here with the rest of the idiots

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:26pm
  94. Africa is a weird place

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:31pm
  95. Out law spears and bannanas

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:36pm
  96. Asshole bigot!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:40pm
  97. And what group will be your NEXT scapegoat, asswipe, when you and everyone in your country who uses their brain in the same manner as yourself realizes that none of your problems have gone away?

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:42pm
  98. Old new, they are third word, anyones cares…

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:45pm
  99. Closet case

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:53pm
  100. So they’ll be forced to go into hiding? Hmm this sounds somewhat familiar…
    Also I read the other day that lesbians are getting gang raped, it’s called “corrective rape” – how many poor souls are now going to suffer. It’s disgusting!

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:54pm
  101. and then has the nerve to walk around looking like a tacky ass pimp…pfft

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:59pm
  102. Mijn God, waarom …..

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 7:02pm
  103. Hateful man.

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 7:25pm
  104. Hitler banned unions and more. This is getting scary

    Posted on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 7:26pm