Following failed attempts in 2006 and 2008, Nigerian lawmakers
are resurrecting a version of a widely condemned anti-homosexuality
bill, now entitled: "An Act to Prohibit Marriage between Persons of
Same Gender, Solemnization Of Same And For Other Matters Related
The law will further prohibit the lives of gay, lesbian and
bisexual people in the republic, which houses 36 states and is the
most populous country in Africa.
The bill, which is apparently being fast-tracked by lawmakers,
states that "Marriage Contract entered between persons of same
Gender is hereby prohibited in Nigeria"
It also declares that "Marriage Contract entered between persons
of same gender by virtue a certificate issued by a foreign country
shall be void in Nigeria, and any benefits accruing there from by
virtue of the certificate shall not be enforced by any court of law
It further states: "Same Gender Marriage means the coming together
of persons of the same sex with the purpose of leaving together as
husband and wife or for other purposes of same sexual
The Nigerian LGBT community, with international support, has
previously been successful in quashing this bill twice, but now
needs international support to throw out this bill once and for
The bill has already passed its second reading and public hearing
is scheduled for Monday 31 October, 2011.
"The new Nigerian bill aims to further criminalise same sex
relationships and marriage," said Nigerian Yemisi Ilesanmi,
coordinator of the campaign: Nigerian LGBT in the Diaspora Against
Anti Same Sex Laws.
"Under Nigeria's criminal code and penal code, consensual same sex
conduct between adults is already a criminal offence carrying up to
14 years imprisonment and in some parts of the country, the death
penalty under Sharia law.
"The proposed bill violates fundamental human rights that are
guaranteed under the Nigerian constitution and various human rights
international agreements that Nigeria is a signatory to. This bill
would lead to harassment of people for their actual or imputed
sexual orientation. It would also stifle freedom of expression and
association through the proposed ban on organizations that support
lesbian and gay rights."
Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights lobby, is urging
people to unite against the proposed law by signing the following
The sponsor of the bill, Senator Domingo Obende, argued that "The
legalization of same sex marriage in our country will make the next
generation never to recover from the law of committed God fearing
"Same sex marriage is spreading and spreading round the whole
world just like pornography and terrorism which has become the
order of the day if not arrested on time."