Nigeria Passes Anti-LGB Bill

A new bill that will make Nigeria one of the most homophobic states in the world is about to be signed by its President Goodluck Jonathan. The Bill, which was originally designed to ban same sex marriage but has grown much more wide ranging in its discriminatory measures, has been voted through in the Senate and only awaits Jonathan’s signature to be enacted. Under the strictures of the Bill, same sex marriage will be banned with a penalty of up to 14 years for couples who marry and ten years for anyone who participates or witnesses a marriage; same sex organisations and gay clubs will not be allowed to register; and public displays of same sex affections are banned.
The Bill, introduced in a country where same sex relationships have been illegal since British colonial rule, is thought to be a result of pressure from religious groups. Gays and lesbians are said to have suffered discrimination and abuse at the hands of Christians and Muslims in their fight for supremacy over the nation. In parts of the country where Sharia Law is practised they can be stoned to death. Senator Baba-Ahmed Yusuf Datti of the ironically titled Congress for Progressive Change party has said, “Such elements in society should be killed.”
David Cameron’s proposed aid cuts for homophobic developing nations will have little impact on Nigeria, an oil rich state that has deals with the USA.
Amnesty International has expressed its objection to the Bill. George Broadhead, chief of the Pink Triangle Trust, said: “It is clear that the impetus for such legislation has come from religious sources and the Nigerian Humanist Movement (NHM), which has had financial support from the PTT, has been one of the few heterosexual institutions defending LGBT rights in the county. Its Executive Director Leo Igwe deserves much credit for courageously speaking up for their rights in the country’s parliament.”