Nigeria Considering A Law To Ban Gays From Associating
Lawmakers in Nigeria are thinking about enacting a law that will ban any type of association among gays, with penalties of as much as five years in jail. Nigeria has a small and deeply closeted gay group with very couple of openly gay Nigerians. It’s unlawful to engage in homosexual acts in Nigeria, and anybody convicted of violating that law faces jail in the south, which can be mostly Christian, and in the mainly Muslim north, homosexuals encounter execution.
Lawmakers in Nigeria are now debating a proposed law that will ban same-sex relationship as well as any kind of association at all among homosexuals-even sharing a meal in a restaurant or vacationing jointly. The law, which is broadly anticipated to pass, requires penalties of as much as five decades in prison for people convicted of breaking it.
Activist Bisi Alimi, one of the few openly gay Nigerians, have been attempting to garner opposition for the legislation, without much achievement. Alimi, 27, stated that none of his companions have told their families that they are gay, because the subject is too taboo in their society and any public information of the sexual orientation could lead to arrest, beatings, or even death.
Some of Alimi’s friends have reported they don’t possess the courage to inform their parents, or they do not tell individuals because it is nobody’s business. One good friend told Alimi, “Do heterosexual males go about telling the planet they are attracted to ladies?” Some of the other activities that would be against the law if it passes include reading guides or viewing films with gay themes, belonging to gay clubs, or visiting Internet websites that “promote” homosexuality.
Attitudes towards gays across Africa are very similar. Amnesty Worldwide says that accusations of homosexuality and laws in opposition to gays have been utilized to wage war in opposition to political opponents in neighboring Cameroon. South Africa legalized gay marriages last month, making it the only African country to take action. But most people believe the act was a symbolic ban on all types of discrimination in reaction to apartheid, than it was a show of tolerance and support for that gay way of life.
Haruna Yermia, a member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, is in help of the proposed ban. Yermia believes social make contact with between gays must be restricted simply because it may encourage behavior that’s “against our culture…against our religion.” But Akin Marinho, a man rights lawyer in Nigeria, said that prohibiting gay associations is illegal under Nigeria’s constitution and international treaty obligations. Marinho stated that overseas firms could face lawsuits if gay or lesbian employees are unable to fill positions in Nigeria.
Some conservatives are against the passing from the law. Bishop Joseph Ojo, minister to the congregation at the Calvary Kingdom Church, believes that gay associations are “foreign to Africans’ and ought to be outlawed, but he additionally believes that homosexuals should “have freedom of speech and expression.