EU condemns Nigeria anti-gay marriage bill

The European Parliament adopted a resolution yesterday, calling for Nigeria to reject a bill which threatens gay couples with arrests and violence

EU condemns Nigeria anti-gay marriage bill
16 March 2012

The European Parliament has condemned Nigeria's anti-gay marriage bill which, if passed, would put lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the country at serious risk of violence and arrest.

The Same Gender Marriage Prohibition Bill was proposed in 2011 and has since been amended by the Nigerian Senate to punish those in a same-sex partnership with 14 years’ imprisonment and anyone ‘aiding or abetting’ such unions with 10 years in prison.

Tourists or humanitarian aid workers, as well as Nigerian citizens, who are in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership are at risk of arrest and prosecution. Those working in embassies but without diplomatic protection, such as technical staff, will also be at risk.

The European Parliament yesterday (15 March) adopted a resolution, calling for the African country to reject the bill and to decriminalize homosexuality.

Under the current law, gay people can face a jail term and, in some cases, death by stoning.

Michael Cashman MEP, co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, said: 'Nigeria is already among the world’s top oppressors of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

'Why such a law now? Nigeria needs to follow the example of countries like Rwanda, Kenya or South Africa, which prove African nations don’t need to persecute the vulnerable in order to strive.'

Intergroup's Ulrike Lunacek MEP assured those being persecuted in Nigeria that they have the European Parliament’s full backing.

'No group has ever called for same-sex marriage in Nigeria,' she said.

'Our fellow lawmakers should stop obsessing about citizens’ private lives, and start tackling the dire socio-economic situation in Nigeria.'

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Stolichnaya Vodka's parent company now includes gays in its non-discrimination policy

Facing calls for a worldwide boycott, maker of Stolichnaya Vodka changes employee anti-discrimination rules to now include sexual orientation
No thumbnail available

Scissor Sisters make the cut with new tour

US pop quintet spawned by New York's gay scene to embark on North American tour following release of fourth album
No thumbnail available

Matt Bomer recalls his days playing a male prostitute and a killer on daytime soap

'I told them to just throw the kitchen sink at me and they did'
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Former Swiss Guard commander fears a gay network inside the Vatican

Retired Swiss Guard commandant Elmar Mäder has claimed to a Swiss newspaper that he was aware of gay priests during his time working at Vatican City in Rome
No thumbnail available

Speaker of Uganda's parliament says anti-gay bill will soon be passed

Rebecca Kadaga reassures anti-gay groups that parliament will soon pass 2009's Anti-Homosexuality Bill
No thumbnail available

Neil Patrick Harris claims the groping rules are a bit more relaxed for gays

'When you're gay you kind of get the bum touching free card'
No thumbnail available

Brazil trans stoned to death

A Brazilian trans was stoned to death by a group of assailants in the city of Aracaju 
No thumbnail available

Three arrested in New York City for an anti-gay attack

The two gay men were walking in Brooklyn when the suspects started yelling homophobic slurs
No thumbnail available

Singapore couple sue to end sodomy law

Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee are suing to end Singapore’s 377A sodomy law which brands them as criminals despite the government saying the law is not to be enforced proactively