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Nigerian Senate Passes Anti-Gay Bill After Increasing Penalties

Jim Burroway

November 29th, 2011

The Associated Press is reporting that the Nigerian Senate yesterday passed a bill to criminalize same-sex weddings after first increasing the penalties from the earlier draft. According to the AP:

Under the measure, couples who marry could face up to 14 years in jail, and witnesses or anyone who helps couples marry could be sentenced to 10 years behind bars. That’s an increase over the bill’s initial penalties.

The original draft provided a three year prison term for entering into a same-sex marriage. The penalty for witnessing/aiding/abetting a marriage was originally to be five years imprisonment or a fine of ₦2,000 (2,000 naria, or US$13 in a country where the average annual income is US$1,200.) If a group of persons witnessed/aided/abetted a marriage, the fine would have been ₦50,000. It was unclear under the original draft whether two people at a wedding would be considered two individuals or a group. An updated copy of the bill has not been posted on the Nigerian Senate’s web site. A companion bill has not yet been posted to the House of Representatives web site.

Oil-rich Nigeria is much less dependent on foreign assistance, giving western nations much less leverage in attempts to improve Nigeria’s human rights situation.

Homosexuality is already criminalized in Nigeria, with a penalty of fourteen years’ imprisonment upon conviction. In the half of the country where Sharia Law is in effect, the penalty is death.

Comments

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Josh D.
November 29th, 2011 | LINK

Nigeria’s membership in the United Nations should be immediately revoked, and any aid being provided to Nigeria (and despite Nigeria’s oil, they ARE receiving substantial amounts of monetary aid from the United Nations) should immediately be halted.

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