No Love for Gays in Nigeria


Today, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria signed a bill that imposes 14-year prison sentences for any type of homosexual affection. As the Western World is moving towards equality for all sexes, Nigeria is doing the complete opposite. Nigeria and much of the African countries have strong anti-homosexual sentiments but this law has broadened the ability to persecute homosexuals.

The bill states that “Persons who enter into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction to a term of 14 years in prison,” This outrageous bill goes even further by punishing “”Any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organizations or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison.”

Sodomy in Nigeria was always punishable with prison but now this bill has tighten the laws against homosexually, depriving them of key human rights consistent with democratic ideas such as freedom of expression and right to association.

When I read this article, I was just shocked at how other cultures and countries think. Although, our country has mixed feelings about gays and their rights, I believe that everyone is entitled to enjoy the same rights as everyone else. Now with this new bill passed, the homosexual community of Nigeria is going to have to maintain an underground existence hidden for fear from prosecution and it is simply just sad that a government can turn on its own citizens and punish them simply because of their sexual preferences.

What is your opinion about this anti-homosexual law?

Any solutions that the gay community in Nigeria can seek?

Sources: Reuters

Picture: adewobe.jpg


  1. This new anti-homosexual law is absolutely appalling. Not only does it not provide for equal protection under the law, but it also strikes a nerve with what we know to be the right to privacy amongst gays, going to the very core of Lawrence v. Texas. I am aware that not all countries have the same rights and freedoms that Americans enjoy; however, these rights, freedoms, and values are engrained in me and are my foundation and the perspective from which I view the world.
    To punish one class of people for engaging in the same or similar activities as heterosexual couples, to me, is simply sickening. For this class to not be able to marry, engage in sexual acts, associate with other gays in groups and organizations, etc. completely infringes on what we know to be fundamental, birth-given, rights. Regardless of what side of the issue you are on, homosexuals are no less of a person and deserve just as much freedom and protection as heterosexuals.
    As far as a remedy or solution to this issue, it is hard to say at this point in time. Moving out of Nigeria, although easier said than done, may be the only option right now. I could not imagine living life everyday in fear and it does not seem like it will get any better any time soon. In fact, if Nigeria is going to take such a step backwards, I can only assume it will get worse before it gets better.

  2. I echo the sentiment of the previous post but although as appalling as the acts of the Nigerian government are, they are not at all surprising. Nigeria has had a long history of oppressing homosexuals and the government has long stayed silent often times outwardly condoning the oppressive acts of its citizens. What confuses me , which I am sure confuses a lot of outsiders who have become privy of this overt oppression: “is this Nigeria’s biggest problem?” Nigeria currently accepts aid from western societies including the United States of America because it is supposedly not in a position to economically support the needs its impoverished population. (Which is arguable because it has been reported that Nigeria is wealthy enough to develop its own space program.) The point is, a mother who can not feed her child and a child who is going to bed with one meal a day (if they are lucky) in my opinion don’t really care about what a homosexual couple is doing behind closed doors. Nigeria, instead of feeding its poor and taking care of its children, instead of closing down those internet cafes in which people posing as the Prince of Genovia and are stealing money from hard working Westerners wasted their resources making homosexuality illegal. Let’s say Nigeria is right and this is the view of the people in Nigeria, I honestly think that in the grand scheme of life this is a case of a government that doesn’t have its priorities in line.

  3. I find that this new law in Nigeria is very sad; however, it is not surprising. In the United States, laws that made sodomy a crime were not declared unconstitutional until the 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas. That decision was made only eleven years ago. Even though the United States might seem like it is progressing with the gay rights movement, it was not that many years ago when homosexuality was considered a crime. The movement is slowly reaching its goal, but there is much opposition. Different states have yet to legalize gay marriage within their borders. I think that this is indicative of the resistance and the sentiment of gay rights in different parts of the world. Where states like New York have declared gay marriage legal, other states are reluctant to change and to accept this practice. This is analogous to the United States and countries like Nigeria. Where one country does not have a problem accepting change, the other country might be unwilling to accept homosexuality. In time, feelings will change, but it will not happen overnight.

  4. As the posts before me, I share the same feelings about this issue. It is disappointing that Nigeria has enacted this law. Unfortunately, it is not that surprising that Nigeria has enacted such a law. Nigeria has long been one of those countries that has had a negative view towards homosexuality. It is now that the country has openly taken a stance on the matter. Nigeria’s stance, again, is not that surprising because as stated above it is not that long ago that sodomy was a crime in the United States. It is unfortunate but the gay rights movement faces much opposition today even in the United States. It is not difficult to see how and why other parts of the world still have such a negative view regarding gay rights. However, there is progress being made. The United States is slowly making progress in this matter. Hopefully, other parts of the world will follow suit and there will be a positive worldwide progress regarding gay rights.

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