Why this is Important
The Nigerian lawmakers are attempting to pass a bill titled “An Act to Prohibit Marriage between Persons of Same Gender, Solemnization Of Same And For Other Matters Related Therewith” The bill aims to further criminalized same sex relationship and marriage.
Under Nigeria’s criminal code and penal code, consensual same sex conduct between adults is a criminal offense. Chapter 42, section 214 of Nigeria’s criminal code provides a sentence of fourteen years imprisonment for “carnal knowledge against the order of nature”. The Sharia law, widely practiced in Northern Nigeria prescribed death penalty for homosexual conducts.
The proposed bill violates fundamental human rights that are guaranteed under the Nigerian constitution and various human rights international agreements that Nigeria is a signatory to. This bill could lead to political and social harassment of people for their actual or imputed sexual orientation. It could also stifle freedom of expression and association through the proposed ban on organizations that support Lesbians and gay rights.
The bill could further affect Nigeria Human rights records, many including the police would use it as a license to intimidate and harass citizens based on their actual or suspected sexual orientation. The passing of the bill would give official validation to the harassment of sexual minorities and many homophobic persons would use it as a license to discriminate against lesbians and gays. Hate crime are not uncommon in Nigeria.
Please sign the letter below to urge Nigerian lawmakers to decriminalize Same sex relationship, stop the proposed anti same sex marriage bill and uphold fundamental human rights of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals transsexuals in Nigeria. Thank you.