Daily Trust (Abuja)

14 January 2014

Nigeria: Jonathan Secretly Signs Anti-Gay Bill Into Law

Abuja — President Goodluck Jonathan has secretly signed the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill 2011 into law.

Jonathan's spokesman Reuben Abati confirmed to our correspondent last night that his principal had signed the bill since January 7, 2014.

The bill states that persons who enter into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction to a term of 14 years in prison.

The western countries particularly the United Kingdom has been openly opposed to criminalizing same sex union by other nations, a position most Africans find irritating.

The Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, Sarah Jubril, last Tuesday hinted that the Presidency backed the National Assembly's resolution outlawing same-sex marriage.

Jubril, who spoke at a round table on Cultural Diplomacy in Nigeria and Africa for Peace and Security, said same-sex marriage is alien to Nigeria and Africa.

"Same sex marriage is alien to the African continent. We have not seen this happen even among animals," she said.

Aljazeera had earlier yesterday quoted Abati as saying: "I can confirm that the president has signed the bill into law. 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. And I think that this law is made for a people and what [the] government has done is consistent with the preference of its environment."

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