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Homosexuality in Nigeria is illegal according to Chapter 21, Articles 214 and 217 of the Nigerian penal code and can be punished by imprisonment of up to 14 years. The north of Nigeria is Islamic and extremely conservative. According to the Shari'a law, which applies here, anal intercourse (Liwat) is punished with 100 lashes (for unmarried men) and one years imprisonment and death by stoning for married men. As of March 2006, press reports say that more than a dozen people have been sentenced to death by stoning since 2000, but the sentences had not been carried out.
Recognition of same-sex couplesEdit
On January 18, 2007 the Federal Executive Council approved a law, Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2006, prohibiting same sex marriages and sent it to the National assembly for urgent action. According to the Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo, the law was pushed by President Olusegun Obasanjo following demonstrations for same sex marriage during the international conference on HIV/AIDS (ICASA) in 2005.
The proposed bill calls for five years imprisonment for anyone who undergoes, "performs, witnesses, aids, or abets" a same-sex marriage. It would also prohibit any display of a "same-sex amorous relationship" and adoption of children by gays or lesbians. The bill is expected to receive little or no opposition in Parliament. The same-sex marriage ban would make Nigeria the second country in Africa to criminalize such unions. In 2005, the Ugandan constitution was amended to ban same-sex marriage.
The same bill would also call for five years imprisonment for involvement in public advocacy or associations supporting the rights of lesbian and gay people. Included in the bill is a proposal to ban any form of relationship with a gay person. The intent of the bill is to ban anything remotely associated with being 'gay' or just gay in the country.
In February 2006, the United States State Department condemned the proposal. In March 2006, 16 international human rights groups signed a letter condemning the bill, calling it a violation of the freedoms of expression, association and assembly guaranteed by international law as well as by the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and a barrier to the struggle against the spread of AIDS. Some sources claim that Nigeria has the world's third-highest population of persons with AIDS: 3.6 million Nigerians are infected with HIV.
LGBT life in NigeriaEdit
Public hostility to homosexual relations is widespread in Nigeria, a largely conservative country of more than 130 million people, split between a mainly Muslim north and a largely Christian south.
- ↑ "Nigeria", Sodomy Laws. URL accessed on March 26, 2006,
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Nigeria To Criminalize Gay Marriage & LGBT Meetings", 365Gay.com, January 19, 2006. URL accessed on March 26, 2006.
- ↑ "Nigeria bans same sex relationships... threatens severe sanctions" NigeriaDirect, Press Release January 19, 2007, URL accessed on March 28, 2007)]
- ↑ "Nigeria: Obasanjo Must Withdraw Bill to Criminalize Gay Rights", Reuters AlertNet. March 23, 2006. URL accessed on March 26, 2006
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Heidi Vogt, "Nigeria must withdraw anti-gay bill", Independent Online. March 24, 2006. URL accessed on March 26, 2006,
- Gay People's Chronicle, 12/15/2006, Vol. 22 Issue 24, p5-5
- Murray, Rachel, Dr. Towards Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation: The Normative Basis and Procedural Possibilities before the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and the African Union. Human Rights Quarterly - Volume 29, Number 1, February 2007