America says anti-gay law may affect fight against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria

Barack Obama
Barack Obama
The American ambassador says the new anti-gay law has restricted the rights of expression and assembly of people involved in gay relationships 
The United States Government on Monday said Nigeria’s anti-gay law may affect the country’s fight against HIV/AIDS.
The new U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, made this known shortly after he visited the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Attahiru Jega, in Abuja.
Mr. Entwistle told journalists that the anti-gay law was against the rule of law because it violated the rights of a certain section of the citizenry.
According to him, the new law has restricted the rights of expression and assembly of people involved in gay relationships.
Already, he said the U.S. Government was studying the new law with a view to determining its support for HIV/AIDS campaigns in Nigeria.
He said the anti-gay law was capable of jeopardising Nigeria’s chances of receiving aids from the United States.
The envoy warned that future relationship between the two counties would be determined by how Nigeria handles the repressive law.
Entwistle, however, noted that majority of states in his home country are yet to legalise same-sex marriage, adding that the issue has generated serious controversy globally.
He said, “The issue of same-sex marriage is very controversial throughout the world including my country. In the US, only about I7 states have signed it into law, which means that majority of states have not permitted it.
“Maybe, there are some core challenges to that in my country. I am not a lawyer but as a friend of Nigeria, I have found that the new law puts significant restriction on the right of a people to assemble and freedom of expression.”
The envoy noted that the U.S. Government provides millions of dollars in aids towards the fight against HIV/AIDS and other health and social problems in Nigeria.
Continuing, he said, “Absolutely, we have to look very carefully into the law because whatever we will be doing will be in compliance with the new law. That is how I see that law.”

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