January 13, 2014 – Nigeria Banned Same Sex, Gay Marriage: President Jonathan Signs Bill Into Law
Effective today, the Federal Government of Nigeria has banned same sex union, marriage.
According to President Jonathan’s spokesperson, the bill prohibiting homosexualism has been passed into law.
“I can confirm that the president has signed the bill into law,” Reuben Abati told AFP
Abati said Jonathan signed off on the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2013 because it was consistent with the attitudes of most people towards homosexuality in Nigeria.
“More than 90 percent of Nigerians are opposed to same sex marriage. So, the law is in line with our cultural and religious beliefs as a people,”.
“And I think that this law is made for a people and what (the) government has done is consistent with the preference of its environment.” – Reuben Abati added
A gay right group, Amnesty Int’l has condemned President Jonathan for signing the bill into law. They urged the President to reject the bill because it’s discriminatory to Nigeria’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Under the terms of the law, anyone who enters into a same-sex marriage or civil union can be sentenced to 14 years in prison while any such partnerships entered into abroad are deemed “void”.
It also warns that anyone who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations or who directly or indirectly makes a public show of a same-sex relationship will break the law.
Punishment is up to 10 years in prison, it adds.
“Only a marriage contract between a man and a woman shall be recognised as valid in Nigeria,” the law states.