Nigeria Passes Bill Imprisoning Gays 10 Years For “Public Shows” Of Affection

nigeria-govtNigeria’s House of Representatives voted Thursday to pass the so-called “Jail All the Gays” bill, banning same-sex marriages, outlawing any groups endorsing gay rights and calling for 10-year prison sentences  for any “public show” of affection between same-sex couples.

According to the AP:

Under the proposed law, Nigeria would ban any same-sex marriage from being conducted in either a church or a mosque. Gay or lesbian couples who marry could face up to 14 years each in prison. Witnesses or anyone who helps couples marry could be sentenced to 10 years behind bars. Anyone taking part in a group advocating for gay rights or anyone caught in a “public show” of affection also would face 10 years in prison if convicted by a criminal court.

The bill had originally passed the Senate in November 2011 and passed its second reading in the House last November. In a voice vote, the House simply adopted all of the clauses the Senate had previously approved. The bill now goes to President Goodluck Jonathan for his approval or veto.

Gay sex has been illegal in Nigeria since British colonial rule, with a maximum punishment of death by stoning in the north where Shari’a law has been adopted. In the south, the maximum punishment is a relatively lenient 14 years’ imprisonment.

Homosexuality is currently illegal in 38 African countries, yet several nations are trying to pass even harsher anti-gay laws, including Uganda, whose “Kill the Gays” bill originally prescribed the death penalty or life imprisonment for certain same-sex acts. The death penalty, however, has been reportedly removed from the latest version of the bill.

Chidi Odinkalu, the chairman of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission said the bill, if passed into law, likely would be challenged in court. Meanwhile, Nigerian gay rights activist Bisi Alimi blames the bill’s passage on “political instability” and questions surrounding the legitimacy of both the House and Jonathan.

“It is a shocking way for them to try to get through those political problems by passing this bill,” Alimi told Gay Star News. “If the president signs this bill it will be the first country in recent history to criminalize gay people in its constitution in this way. And it will have a big impact. Uganda will be next, Sierra Leone will follow.”

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  • Dionte

    I hope the people that passed that bill enjoy stagnum ignis.

  • Kieran

    Actually this can be seen as a smart move by Nigeria. Now any Nigerian who comes to America can claim to be gay and get political asylum.

  • Ron Jackson

    Isn’t it time we bombed Nigeria? Oh wait no…we give them about $600,000,000 USD a year in aid.

  • longpastdue

    @Kieran: That was actually my first thought as well. There should be some kind of campaign to inform Nigerians of all the countries that have asylum laws similar to ours. When everybody tries to leave either the country will have to change the law, shut down the borders (and refuse aid) or other countries like the U.S. will be forced to get involved in making them change the law.

  • Polaro

    Nigeria is yet another example of just how bad government can be. Thankfully, I will never, ever have to go to Nigeria. Now, if I can only get my good friends over there from emailing me about all this money they want to “give” me.

  • Charles175

    The less knowledge, education and wisdom a people have, the more Fundamentalism thrives. It’s all about power and control over the masses.

  • ouragannyc

    The government of Nigeria (like Uganda’s) is creating the gay issue to divert attention from their failures (high unemployment and corruption).
    Pity to see so much ignorance!

  • voodoochild

    @Ron Jackson: Yes, please. Blow up my parents and extended family. Slaughter my loved ones and friends. I’m sure killing the masses will solve the problem. I’m also sure I will thank you for standing up for my rights as a Nigerian, after I’m done mourning and burying them. Sometimes, to see clearly, you need to climb out of your own ass.

  • voodoochild

    @Charles175: Then according to your reasoning, America must be pretty stupid. Fundamentalists arise because of extreme hardship and a feeling of helplessness. It causes them to turn to a Deity to protect them, and causes them to act viciously and over-zealously on that Deity’s behalf, without consideration for other people’s beliefs or values, which they believe to be inferior to theirs. It has absolutely nothing to do with wisdom. Ben Carson is, dare I say, probably quite wise, but his impoverished upbringing led him to become very fundamentalist in his beliefs.

  • Ron Jackson

    @voodoochild: Apparently you don’t recognize sarcasm. The US response to most “problem countries” has been to send in the bombers and cruise missiles. oh, and stop sending me those damn get rich quick emails.

  • Hansolo

    Nigeria is about 40 years behind socially.

  • Polaro

    @longpastdue: Sorry, we don’t need an influx of Nigerians.

  • Polaro

    @Hansolo: More like 200 years, but why quibble.

  • 2eo

    Now I know we have Nigerians waiting to pounce on anything anyone says with imperialistic cries I shall bow out early.

  • Niall

    Socially backwards country where a lot of laws and public opinion still depends on religion and some people’s warped concepts of “morality”. Hardly surprising.

  • connorlarkin19

    In the meantime, rape, genocide, slavery, civil war, torture, blood diamonds & oil are keeping the 1% of African despots in African assets in Lichtenstein, Isle of Wight and Swiss Banks for the ‘safe keeping’ of the mindless 99%.

  • Daniel-Reader

    So, since Nigeria is violating human rights, then all other treaties no longer apply to Nigeria which can be dealt with accordingly. You don’t have to kill anyone to bring an end to Nigeria.

  • voodoochild

    @Ron Jackson: You must be really stupid if you think what you wrote earlier remotely resembles sarcasm. You advocated blowing up a country because of internal turmoil, and then complained about the aid being rendered to said country. You seem like a genuine jerk, and I bet you don’t give a damn about the LGBT people in Nigeria or what they’re going through. People like you just want an excuse to be angry at something. Good luck getting through life with that attitude. It’s not like anyone here is happy about the situation, the others just posted sensible comments, instead of off-topic ramblings.

  • Cobalt Blue

    I don’t know if it was the past of slavery, colonialism or something with their culture but all countries that have blacks among their population has some amount of problems. The same with the ones that has islan as their religion. In Americas countries lake Haiti, Cuba, Venezuela and Brazil are extremally corrupt,violent and miserable. All of them are full of blacks and browns. Nigeria is inside the Black Africa, has islan as its major religion and as all others countries in África is a backward cisspool. It’s sad because these countries have yet half a century of independent political life and all of them tought the word how to do nothing to improve the economic and educational/cultural status os their populations. All the countries that have a huge grupe of blacks like some in the Americas are seen as huge slums and Black Africa is a fucking eternal misery , ignorance and bigotery maker.

  • John

    Y E P P …….

    Good job Nigeria…….

    Good job Gambia…….

    Good job Ethiopia for N O W considering making A B O M I N A T I O N a C R I M E

    P U N I S H A B L E by D E A T H …….

    Good job Cameroon…….

    Good job Uganda…….

  • Tackle

    @Cobalt Blue: You want to talk about problems? Well yours are really bad. And it has to do with spelling and grammer. Just awful…

  • Daniel-Reader

    John, you actually believe the rule of law is maintained in such regions? Imagine those regions doing the same thing to Chinese people. What would the proper response of China be – of Chinese friends and family? Now imagine a much larger group than China experiencing human rights violations and what the response should be to such violations of basic human rights. The message these African countries send is that larger groups should violate the human rights of smaller groups. Count the number of politicians and religious leaders in the countries. Now count the number of people experiencing human rights violations. The discussion taking place is the proper response.

  • macmantoo

    @Polaro: Sounds like the republican/tea party

  • Tackle

    Typo: grammar

Comments are closed.