tuesday, 14 january of 2014

Nigeria president signs anti-gay legislation

Anti-gay legislation

Nigeria president signs anti-gay legislation

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act into law on Monday, prompting condemnation throughout the international community. The law bans same-sex marriage and criminalizes homosexual associations, societies and meetings and carries a punishment of up to 14 years imprisonment. Though sodomy is already a crime in Nigeria, the law marks a crackdown on homosexuals in Nigeria. US Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement condemning the law as a "danger[ous] restrict[ion] on freedom of assembly, association and expression for all Nigerians" and inconsistent with Nigeria's international legal obligations.

Homosexuality is illegal in 37 African countries, and South Africa is the only country on the continent where same-sex marriage is not prohibited. In May 2012 Malawi's President Joyce Banda announced that she would move to decriminalize homosexual acts. However, Malawi's government reversed its position in November 2012 in response to backlash from from church groups. In 2011 the US announced measures to combat international criminalization of homosexuality by considering gay rights in granting foreign aid. In 2010 UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called upon countries throughout the world to abolish laws that discriminate against homosexuals.

(Published by Jurist – January 13, 2014)

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