Nigerian lawmakers approve 14-year imprisonment for same-sex marriage couples

Gays and their collaborators risk 14 years in jail in Nigeria

Making gay or lesbian advances attracts 10-year imprisonment, according to the law.

The House of Representatives on Thursday approved 14-year imprisonment for persons who contract same-sex marriage in the country.

This was sequel to a clause-by-clause consideration of a bill for an act to prohibit marriage or union entered between persons of same-sex, at the Committee of the Whole.

“Marriage or civil union entered between persons of same gender shall not be solemnised in any place of worship, either church or mosque or any place in Nigeria,” it said.

Introducing the bill, Rep. Albert Sam-Tsokwa (PDP-Taraba) said that it sought to achieve a far reaching objective by outlawing same-sex marriage and provide punishment for offenders.

It also set out a 10-year sentence for “any person who directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationships’’.

“Any persons or group of persons that administers, witnesses, screen and shields the solemnisation of same sex marriage in Nigeria on conviction, will be liable to 10 years imprisonment”.

It would be recalled also that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, had warned that his country would consider withholding aid from countries that did not recognise gay rights.

In November 2011, the senate approved the bill that would make same-sex marriages punishable by up to 14 years for the couple and 10 for anyone abetting such unions.

The bill is expected to be sent to the senate for concurrence and would only become law after the concurred bill is signed by President Goodluck Jonathan; or should he refuse, his refusal is vetoed by the two chambers of the National Assembly.


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