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Wednesday, 30 November 2011 02:00

Nigerian Senate Approved Anti-Gay Marriage Law

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Nigeria Senate passed the law criminalizing gay marriage. The next stages are a vote in the House of Representatives then the signature of President Goodluck Jonathan before to be effective.

"Such elements in society should be killed," said Senator Baba-Ahmed Yusuf Datti.

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 according to the Associated Press.

With this law, all gays and lesbians who will marry will be able to undergo maximum 14 years of prison. In the same way, all the witnesses or each person who would help a couple to get married will also be sentenced to prison during 10 years!

Unfortunately, the list continues. As the Associated Press reports, 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.

Erwin van der Borght, the director of Amnesty International’s Africa program, said "the bill will expand Nigeria’s already draconian punishments for consensual same-sex conduct and set a precedent that would threaten all Nigerians’ rights to privacy, equality, free expression, association and to be free from discrimination."

In spite of the Nigerian or international pressures, nothing seems to be able to stop this law.

"Anybody can write to us, but our values are our values," Senate President David Mark said. "If there is any country that does not want to give us aid or assistance, just because we hold on very firmly to our values, that country can (keep) their assistance. No country has a right to interfere in the way we make our own laws."


Lezbelib is the online magazine that helps LGBTQ+ women to stay updated with entertaining blogs and breaking news about LGBT rights.