Nigerian lawmakers enact same sex marriage ban with penalty of up to 14 years in prison

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, May 30, 2013 13:50 EDT
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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan smiles during a press conference at the South African Parliament in Cape Town, on May 7, 2013. (AFP)
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Nigerian lawmakers approved Thursday a bill to outlaw gay marriage and crack down on gay rights, including criminalising public displays of affection between same-sex couples.

The House of Representatives unanimously approved the bill which provides for jail terms of up to 14 years for gay marriage.

A gay rights bill has already been approved by the Senate but it was not immediately clear if the laws were identical.

If there are no differences between the two, the bill will now go to the president for his approval.

Under the bill, “persons that entered into a same-gender marriage or civil union contract commit an offence and are jointly liable on conviction to a term of 14 years imprisonment each.”

It also says “any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations or directly or indirectly makes a public show of same-sex amorous relationship commits an offence and shall be liable to a term of 10 years imprisonment.”

Beyond concerns about gay rights in Africa’s most populous nation, some have also questioned whether funding channelled through non-governmental organisations in Nigeria for AIDS treatment would be put in jeopardy by the bill.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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