Main | Wednesday, December 07, 2011

NIGERIA: Worsened Anti-Gay Bill Seen As Slap At Obama's Intl'l Rights Push

In what is seen as a reaction to yesterday's move by the Obama administration, today Nigeria's House introduced a version of the bill passed last week by that nation's Senate. One lawmaker vowed to make the bill even worse that it already is. Box Turtle Bulletin tips us to this report:
A spokesman for the House of Representatives and a cabinet minister in Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer were defiant in the face of Western criticism over the measure. “We have a culture. We have religious beliefs and we have a tradition. We are black people. We are not white,” said Zakari Mohammed, who is also a lawmaker. He said same-sex marriage “is alien to our culture and we can never give it a chance. So if (Western nations) will hold their aid to us, to hell with them.” Information Minister Labaran Maku said “we reserve the right to make our laws without apologies to other countries.” Mohammed vowed lawmakers would proscribe even tougher penalties than those proposed so far. He said “to hell with the super powers if they are for gay marriages.”
In addition to criminalizing taking part in or witnessing a same sex marriage, the revised bill creates the following crimes:.
“Any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisation, or directly or indirectly make public show of same sex amorous relationship” is now subject to ten years imprisonment. The same penalty applies to anyone who “supports the registration, operation and sustenance of gay clubs, societies, organisations, processions or meetings in Nigeria.”
Follow Box Turtle Bulletin for their excellent in-depth reporting on the worsening state of LGBT rights across much of Africa.

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