Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has surreptitiously signed the so-called Same Sex Prohibition Bill into law. Reports are that Jonathan actually signed the Bill, better known as the “Jail-All-The-Gays” Bill, quietly last week. News of it’s signing has only now been leaked.
The Bill received international condemnation when it was passed by the Nigerian Parliament back in May of 2013. As OBLOGDEE reported at the time, the United Nation’s High Commissioner condemned the pending law urging President Jonathan not to sign it. As did many foreign countries.
Like most so-called same-sex marriage prohibition bills, the Nigerian “Jail-All-The-Gays” Bill only pretends its focus is to ban marriage. In fact, the goal is to further criminalize LGBTI individuals and organizations where gay sex is already criminalized.
David Mixner weighs in on the new law.
You bet Nigeria is no Russia. It is much worse than Russia…. The repercussions of this new law are chilling. Not only does the law ban marriage equality but also any LGBT relationship. If discovered, gay couples will be sentenced to fourteen years in jail. That is bad enough. However, it also provides for ten years in jail for forming any LGBT organization or supporting the formation of one. The law criminalizes even meetings between homosexuals.
Basically, you can now go to prison in Nigeria for owning an LGBT club, creating a LGBT social organization, supporting or forming an LGBT advocacy organization or simply meeting to discuss LGBT issues. The prison terms are harsh. The prison conditions are shockingly bad.
John Kerry is “deeply concerned“:
Kerry pointed out that the bill goes far behind just banning gay marriage or civil unions. “The United States is deeply concerned by Nigeria’s enactment of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act,” Kerry said in a statement released by the White House. Beyond even prohibiting same sex marriage, this law dangerously restricts freedom of assembly, association, and expression for all Nigerians. Moreover, it is inconsistent with Nigeria’s international legal obligations and undermines the democratic reforms and human rights protections enshrined in its 1999 Constitution. People everywhere deserve to live in freedom and equality. No one should face violence or discrimination for who they are or who they love.”
Remember, several well-known US anti gay groups have gone to African countries to push these laws, and would like to see the same for gays here in the US.