January 13th, 2014
A Nigerian news outlet is reporting that President Goodluck Jonathan has signed into law a wide-ranging bill which not only criminalizes same sex marriage, but all cohabitation, meetings, gatherings and advocacy by or on behalf of gay people in the country:
The assent to the bill was devoid of fanfare to reduce diplomatic tension, which it may likely attract.
Some foreign embassies were shocked by the development leading to ‘curious’ inquiries from the Federal Government. Despite the inquiries, the Federal Government said there was no going back.
The signed bill says the gays, lesbians in Nigeria will risk a 14-year jail term if they do not retrace their steps and renounce such marriage.
Also, any person who operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organizations directly or indirectly will earn 10-year imprisonment. Those who administer witness, abet or aid the solemnisation of a same sex marriage are going to bag 10-year jail term.
The bill was quietly signed on January 7. The Nation has more details about the bill itself:
According to some abstracts, obtained by The Nation, the Act reads:
“A marriage contract or civil union entered into between persons of same sex: (a) is prohibited in Nigeria; and (b) shall not be recognized as entitled to the benefits of a valid marriage.
The Act also stipulates the volume of the sanctions awaiting the violators of the new law.
“A person who enters into a same sex marriage contract or civil union commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 14 years imprisonment.
“A person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organizations directly or indirectly makes public show of dame sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.
“A person or group of persons who administers, witnesses, abets or aids the solemnization of a same sex marriage or civil union of supports the registration, operation and sustenance of gay clubs, societies, organizations, processions or meetings in Nigeria commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.
“The High Court of a State or of the Federal Capital Territory shall have jurisdiction to entertain matters raiding from the breach of the provisions of this Act.”
As we noted earlier, the bill also broadly defined “civil union:”
“Civil Union” means any arrangement between persons of the same sex to live together as sex partners, and shall include such descriptions as adult independent relationships, caring partnerships, civil partnerships, civil solidarity pacts, domestic partnerships, reciprocal beneficiary relationships, registered partnerships, significant relationships, stable unions, etc.
In other words, any two adults living together can reasonably be accused of violating the law and being subject to spending the next fourteen years in prison.
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Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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