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United Nations chief alarmed by Nigeria’s new anti-gay law

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
APBan Ki-moon

AP
Ban Ki-moon

UNITED NATIONS — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he is alarmed by reports of the arrest and torture of individuals in northern Nigeria believed to be homosexual and strongly hopes that the constitutionality of the country’s new anti-gay law will be reviewed.

The U.N. chief stressed that under the U.N. Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights every person is entitled “to enjoy the same basic rights and live a life of worth and dignity without discrimination,” spokesman Martin Nesirky said Wednesday.

The secretary-general is offering U.N. assistance to promote a dialogue and change the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, Nesirky said.

The Nigerian law, signed on Jan. 7 by President Goodluck Jonathan, provides bans same-sex marriage and outlaws anyone from forming organizations supporting gay rights.

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.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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24 more reader comments:

  1. That should make it all okay. Phew. Outrage wouldn’t be enough… But alarm… Well, that should make all the difference. Russia. Uganda. Nigeria. Countries with Sharia Law. Yeah… Alarm. That’ll do it.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 6:26pm
  2. Every one should be alarmed and concerned……question is , what to do about it.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 6:26pm
  3. boycott and sanctions now… in all forms…economic..military..humanitarian etc… imports and exports..see how they like that

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 6:31pm
  4. So are gay Nigerians you moron.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 6:35pm
  5. and the Olympics / Russia?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 6:40pm
  6. Not Uganda or Russia?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 6:55pm
  7. THIS IS NOT ENOUGH STOP AID TO NIGERIA RIGHT NOW

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7:00pm
  8. So do something.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7:05pm
  9. The UN must condemn these laws.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7:07pm
  10. Fuck that shit gay all the way down anyone who doesn’t like it can kiss my ass

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7:08pm
  11. Nigeria needs to be a nation of understang and letting people of their nation decide on their own how they want to live there lives, education, support and understanding is the the way to grow as a nation and never try to in slave it! SO yes Mr. Secretary -General Be ALARMED! Please!!!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7:08pm
  12. I was too. WHY DOES’NT HE DO SOMETHING THEN?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7:24pm
  13. And yet they won’t do a thing, especially if the anti-LGBT rhetoric is based on religion.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7:26pm
  14. I’m very pleased to hear the UN put their foot down to Nigeria on this matter. Even though it sounds subtle.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 7:46pm
  15. yea we all should be alarmed…nations that envoke laws like this need to be dealt with by placing sanctions!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 8:01pm
  16. Divest in these barbaric places…as they say money talks and bullshit walks.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 8:26pm
  17. duuuh!!!..where have you been United Nations?…do you know whats going on too in so-called mother Russia?..Ban Ki-moon?…..BOYCOTT Sochi 2014 Winter Games

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 8:34pm
  18. Some countries just aren’t fit (whether yet or anymore) to be called civilized. And if there’s one thing that the UN historically stands for and /should/ stand for, it’s the principled ideal of human civilization. People who don’t have that concept as their lodestone by now are well and truly savages, wherever they happen to live.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 8:42pm
  19. running out of TP hand me a Nigerian flag

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 9:01pm
  20. You’re surprised. Wow, did you have the shutters ripped off your eyes for once? Or are you just saying that to save face….

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 9:09pm
  21. I said it before… the UN will bluster and pose, but actually do nothing about the problem.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 9:20pm
  22. Hello this is Africa! That says it all to me! Backwards! Make way to many babies and want our money and food I say no way not one damn dime for any of them! Hell No To Africa!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 9:31pm
  23. The UN should sanction that country

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 9:39pm
  24. yes this law is alarming what is also alarming is the fact that 4 nuclear power plants have gone into melt down almost 4 years ago and an entire ocean is dying. what are your thoughts on this?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 10:18pm