Nigeria gay rights crackdown worries US

2011-12-02 22:37

Lagos - The United States expressed concern on Friday over legislation in Nigeria that seeks to outlaw gay marriage and organisations as well as ban public displays of affection between homosexual couples.

"The United States is concerned about reports of legislation in Nigeria that would restrict expression, assembly or organisation based on sexual orientation or gender identity," a statement issued by the US embassy said.

"The United States believes that all people deserve the full range of human rights and opposes the criminalisation of sexual relations between consenting adults. The United States is watching this matter closely."

Nigeria's senate this week approved the bill, which must still be voted on by the House of Representatives and signed by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The bill spells out a 14-year jail term for anyone entering into same-sex marriage or civil union.

Those who abet or aid such unions could receive 10 years, as would "any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations" -- a provision that seems to target gay advocacy groups as well.

The bill also sets out a 10-year sentence for "any person who... directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationships".

The US statement said "the freedoms of speech, assembly and association are long-standing international commitments and universally recognised."

"Nigeria, as a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, has assumed important obligations on these matters.

We expect the government of Nigeria to act in a manner consistent with those obligations."

  • braamc - 2011-12-03 06:23

    They are all in SA to get a bit of

  • Carla De Bouchet - 2011-12-03 06:51

    It seems that Human rights, freedom of expression and association is a Western thing, not an African thing. Nigeria rather focus on all the drug traffickers, crooks and prostitution rings exported from your country, now THAT is a MAJOR problem!

      thabo.tebele - 2011-12-03 09:34

      Including gays who want equal rights,now they must come to SA,especially Cape Town.

      Ashimizo - 2011-12-03 10:18

      And South Africa should teach its citizens to stop buying drugs from Nigerians. You all talk like Nigerians force the drugs on you. Meanwhile you are the ones who call in the middle of the night, desperate for a fix. I don't like the fact that some Nigerians sell drugs but lets be frank, the buyers are as guilty!

      Ibhubesi - 2011-12-03 10:53

      @Ashimizo. Yebo! Whenever there is crime in our country, there is always a Nigerian in the picture! They are a disgrace to this continent and have given Africans a bad name all over the world. Why we allow them into our country is beyond me.

  • TheWatcher - 2011-12-03 08:32

    I'm disgusted at Nigeria's conduct.

  • Garth - 2011-12-03 11:52

    Another comment removed, eh news24? No swearing. No racism. No homophobia. Only a comment on marriage and the validity thereof. Your glass house is as full of holes as America's - freedom of expression and opinion my white ass.

  • emile.eley - 2011-12-03 21:40

    Here we go again with the US attempting to impose its will on others.

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