Nigerian President Signs Bill That Punishes Same-Sex Marriage With Imprisonment

CREDIT: AP Photo/Richard Drew

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan speaking at United Nations (September 23, 2013).

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has signed into law an act that punishes homosexuality and same-sex marriage in a number of different ways. Unlike U.S. bans on such marriages, which simply prohibit recognition, Nigeria’s new law imposes up to 14 years of jail time on any couple that “enters into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union.” Even the individual who officiates or witnesses such a union could face ten years in jail.

Moreover, the law also criminalizes anybody who associates with gay clubs or makes public a show of “same-sex amorous relationships.” This vague language could result in the censorship of any LGBT advocacy, not unlike Russia’s law banning “gay propaganda.” Though Russia imposes a fine and possible short prison sentence, Nigeria’s law would stipulate a 10-year prison sentence.