Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has signed a new bill that will punish same-sex marriage, public displays of affection with a same-sex partner and gay meetings.
Reuben Abati, spokesperson for Goodluck Jonathan (pictured) announced yesterday that the president signed the bill into law as he felt that it reflected most people’s attitudes towards homosexuality in Nigeria.
Abati announced, “I can confirm that the president has signed the bill into law.”
The new law states that any same-sex marriages performed in Nigeria will not be legal and will be punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Marriages performed in other countries will also be void in the country.
The bill adds that anyone who operates or participates in gay clubs and organisations or who makes a public show of a same-sex relationship will be in breach of the law. Punishment for such crimes is up to 10 years in prison.
“More than 90 percent of Nigerians are opposed to same-sex marriage. So, the law is in line with our cultural and religious beliefs as a people,” Abati said.
“I think that this law is made for a people and what [the] government has done is consistent with the preference of its environment.”
Abati did not specify what date the bill was officially brought into law, but confirmed that it was some time earlier this month.
The bill has been condemned internationally. Amnesty International claims that it is “discriminatory” and will have “catastrophic” consequences for the LGBT community in Nigeria.
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