Bill to prohibit same-sex marriage passes second reading

FILE PHOTO: House of Representative in session

All the lawmakers supported the bill.

A bill for an Act to prohibit marriage or civil union entered into between persons of the same sex, and solemnisation of same, passed through the second reading in the House of Representatives, on Tuesday.

Leading the debate on the bill, Mulikat Akande-Adeola (PDP-Oyo) said the proposed legislation would ensure that the institution of marriage was respected.

Mrs. Akande-Adeola, who is the Leader of the House, said the bill would also protect and preserve the Nigerian culture.

She urged members to support the second reading of the bill, saying that marriage between people of the same sex “is foreign to the culture and traditions of Nigerians.”

“This same sex marriage is alien to our culture and not ordained by God; same sex or gender marriage is completely alien to our society and culture.

“This practice has no place in our culture, religion, Nigeria or anywhere in Africa, it is immorality and debasement of our culture, we condemn it in totality,” the lawmaker added.

Adams Jagaba (PDP-Kaduna) aligned himself with the submission of the Majority Leader and said no religion supported gay marriage.

“We are a cultured people; we cannot carry everything from other culture,” he said.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa (ACN-Lagos), who also supported the bill, said that solemnisation of same sex marriage had no place in Nigerian culture.

“It is repulsive,” she stressed.

Nnenna Ukeje (PDP-Abia) also condemned same-sex marriage.

She said marriage is a union that should be blessed by God and marriage between same sex “diminishes the symbol of what we are and procreation.’’

Femi Gbajabiamila (ACN-Lagos), the Minority Leader, also spoke against marriage between the same sex, describing the act as immoral.

“In this marriage, the third party is affected, these people go ahead and adopt children, thereby affecting the child, and in the process the child becomes dysfunctional,” he said. “We are not seeking to promote a dysfunctional society.’’

Aminu Suleiman (PDP-Kano) lauded the Senate for taking the initiative in rejecting gay marriage in Nigeria.

There was no dissenting voice and the bill sailed through the second reading after being put to vote by the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal.

Mr. Tambuwal subsequently referred it to the committee of the whole house for consideration.

The Senate had in November 2011 passed a bill banning same sex marriages in the country.

Opponents of the bill, particularly among the gay right groups, have said it violates their fundamental rights to choose their partner.


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