Nigerian Gay Advocates Speak Out Against New Bill

Jim Burroway

March 11th, 2009

Gay rights activist Rashidi Williams addresses the committe of Nigeria's National Assembly (BBC)

Gay rights activist Rashidi Williams addresses the committe of Nigeria's National Assembly (BBC)

Nigerian gay rights advocates spoke out against a new bill which is supposed to outlaw same-sex marriages. The bill however goes much further than simply defining marriage as between a man and a woman. It will also provide prison sentences for gay people who merely live together, and for anyone who “aids and abets” them.

Nigerian gay rights activists spoke against the bill at a public committee meeting of the National Assembly. The new law provides a prison sentence of three years for anyone who has “entered into a same gender marriage contract.” The bill also defines same-sex marriage as gay people living together. It provides a sentence of five years or a fine for anyone who “witnesses, abet and aids the solemnization” of a same-sex marriage. The law also criminalizes anyone working in organizations which advocate for gay rights. Activists points out that the proposed bill law would punish those who “aids and abets” people to live together with a tougher sentence than the couple concerned.

Homosexuality is already punishable by fourteen years in prison. In the twelve northern states that have adopted Shari’a law, a conviction can bring a sentence of death by stoning. Nigeria, like Uganda, is also the scene of media-driven acts of public vigilantism against gays and lesbians:

On September 12, local newspapers Nation, Vanguard, PM News and the Sunday Sun published photos, names, and addresses of members of the House of Rainbow Metropolitan Community Church, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered-friendly church in Lagos. Following publication, persons started harassing the 12 members. One woman was attacked by 11 men, while others were threatened, stoned, and beaten. No investigation was initiated by year’s end.

Timothy Kincaid

March 11th, 2009

The attack in Nigeria was against gay and lesbian Christians.

Where is the outrage from Christendom?

SharonB

March 11th, 2009

This is terrorism!
Where is the UN on this?

Dave

March 11th, 2009

Where is the outrage from Christendom?

Strange. I was thinking the same thing.

roxy{scotland

March 31st, 2009

nigerian can be so stupid are time,gay realtionship is nt a big deal,there lots of gay guys in nigerian tht ar married and r living 2gether in nigeria

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