8 January 2013

Nigeria: No Going Back On Same Sex Marriage Ban - Mark

Abuja — Senate President, David Mark, has told proponents of same sex marriage to bury their dreams as such acts would not be allowed to infiltrate the Nigerian culture.

He said the bill prohibiting the act was already in place, declaring that people found to have violated the law risked 14 years imprisonment.

In a statement from Mr. Paul Mumeh, his Chief Press Secretary, weekend, Senator Mark told Catholic faithful and guests at the civic reception in honour of Cardinal John Onaiyean in Abuja, that it was a criminal offence for any one to indulge in such an act.

He assured that in spite of pressures from some sections of the international community, including human rights activists, demanding the legalisation of same sex marriage in Nigeria, the law against its practice was irrevocable.

He said: "We will not compromise on this. I want to invite you all to join the crusade of decency in our society. There are many good values we can copy from other societies, but certainly not this one.

"We have to prove to the rest of the world, who are advocates of this unnatural way that we Nigerians promote and respect sanity, morality and humanity. Every individual is a product of the union of a man and woman."

He acknowledged the cordial relationship between the Nigerian state and church and pledged that the National Assembly would continue to do all within the law to ensure religious freedom and peaceful co-existence in the country.

Senator Mark added that the National Assembly would continue to support religious programmes that had positive bearing on Nigerians, but was quick to condemn in the strongest possible terms religious intolerance or extremism.

He enjoined spiritual leaders to continue to pray for good governance, peace and security, which were major challenges facing the country at present.

In his remarks, Cardinal Onaiyekan expressed appreciation to Pope Benedict XVI, the government and people of Nigeria for their prayers and support, especially since his elevation to the College of Cardinals.

He said he would continue to be a crusader for peace and unity of the nation where every citizen had a sense of belonging.

Earlier, chairman of the reception organising committee, Rev. Father Innocent Jooji, noted that Onaiyekan, as a worthy soldier of Christ, had brought honour to the nation with his elevation to the College of Cardinals.

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