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?