Writing for AllAfrica.com, Amnesty International has called on Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan to veto a Same Sex Marriage prohibition bill that was passed on May 30 by Nigeria’s House of Representatives. The author writes:
President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria should not sign into law a draconian new bill that would formalize discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people and have wide-ranging effects on civil liberties in the country, 10 Nigerian and international human rights groups said today.
On May 30, 2013, Nigeria’s House of Representatives passed the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, which would impose a prison sentence of up to 14 years for anyone found guilty of engaging in same-sex relationships. The Senate had already passed a similar bill.
If signed into law, the bill would also criminalize freedom of speech, association, and assembly.
“The bill is a throwback to past decades under military rule when these civil rights were treated with contempt,” said Lucy Freeman, deputy director of the Africa Programme at Amnesty International.
Those found to be in violation of the bill if it becomes a law face prison sentences, including those who speak out in support of gay marriage. Nigeria currently has a 14-year sentence for those involved in or knowledgeable of anyone who has “carnal knowledge” or “carnal intercourse” with another person “against the order of nature.” These laws are holdovers from Victorian-era British rule.
Read more at AllAfrica.com.