I went looking for the text of the Bill recently signed into law by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan that criminalizes any expression of same sex attraction. The most recent version I could find was the one passed by the Senate in November 2011. From reports, the final bill carries the same proscriptions and penalties, but I haven’t seen a final copy as yet.
Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, 2011
An Act To Prohibit Marriage Of Civil Union Entered Into Between Persons Of The Same Sex, Solemnization Of Same And For Other Matters Related Therewith.
Arrangement of Clauses
- Prohibition of Marriage or Civil Union by Persons of the Same Sex
- Solemnization of Same Sex Marriage in Places of Worship
- Recognized Marriage in Nigeria
- Registration of Homosexual Clubs and Societies
- Offences and Penalties
Be it enacted by the National Assemble of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as follows:
1. (1) Marriage Contract or civil union entered into between persons of the same sex is hereby prohibited in Nigeria.
(2) A marriage Contract or civil union entered into between persons of the same sex is invalid and illegal and shall not be recognized as entitled to the benefits of a valid marriage.
(3) A marriage Contract or civil union entered into between persons of the same sex via a certificate by a foreign country shall be void in Nigeria, and any benefits accruing there from by virtue of the certificate shall not be enforced in any court of law in Nigeria.
2. (1) Marriage or civil union entered into between persons of the same sex shall not be solemnised in any place of worship either Church or Mosque of any other place whatsoever called in Nigeria.
(2) No certificate issued to persons of the same sex in a marriage or civil union shall be valid in Nigeria.
3. Only marriages contracted between a man and a woman shall be recognized as valid in Nigeria.
4. (1) The Registration of gay clubs, societies and organisations, their sustenance possessions and meetings are hereby prohibited.
(2) The public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly is hereby prohibited.
5. (1) Persons who entered into a same sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction to a term of 14 years imprisonment.
(2) Any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisation, or directly or indirectly make public show of same sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commit an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.
(3) Any person or group of persons that witness, abet and aids the solemnization of a same sex marriage or civil union or supports the registration, operation and sustenance of gay clubs, societies, organisations, processions or meetings in Nigeria commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.
The High Court of of a State or the Federal Capital Territory shall have jurisdiction to entertain matters arising from the breach of provisions of this Bill.
7. In this Bill
“Court” means High Court of of a State or the Federal Capital Territory.
“Civil Union” means and arrangement between persons of the same sex to live together as sex partners, and shall include such descriptions as adult independent relationships, caring partnerships, civil partnership, civil solidarity pacts, domestic partnerships reciprocal beneficiary relationships, registered partnerships, significant relationships, stable unions, etc.
“Marriage” means a legal union entered into between persons of opposite sex in accordance with the Marriage Act, Islamic Law or Customary Law.
“Same Sex Marriage” means the coming together of persons of the same sex with the purpose of living together as husband and wife or for other purposes of same sexual relationship.
“Witness” means those who sign as witnesses to the solemnisation of the marriage.
8. This Bill may be cited as the Same Sex (Prohibition) Bill, 2011
This Bill seeks to prohibit marriage or civil union entered into between persons of same sex, and to provide penalties for the solemnisation and witnessing thereof.
This Bill was passed by the Senate on Tuesday, 29th November, 2011.
According to the government, the law will also apply to tourists.
The arrests have already begun amid concerns for human rights and a impediment to easing the AIDS crisis in the country which has the second largest HIV epidemic globally with an estimated 3.4 million people living with HIV.
It has been suggested that President Jonathan pushed the bill as it is supported by a large majority of the population, and election looms. Criminalizing gays is always a useful distraction from real problems, especially in areas where religion has such sway.
Support by the religious:
In Nigeria, the Muslim, and the Evangelical and Catholic Christian leaders are all in support of saving the country from the cultural imperialism of the West.
The umbrella body of Christians in the country, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, also said the US government cannot dictate to us to leave our moral, and accept their own immoral ways of life.
“We are solidly behind our president for doing the right thing. Can they allow their sons and daughters to marry each other like that or why are they bothered to meddle into our own affairs?
…In a similar development, the Secretary General of Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, CSN, Rev. Fr Ralph Madu said: “Don’t forget that culturally, morally and biblically it is not right, we cannot swallow everything from Europe and America. These are some of the things they brought to us and want us to swallow.
“The President and the National Assembly are in the right direction as far as this matter is concern. The US is free to raise eyebrow, after all their own government is not against homosexuality and all that.
…Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Samuel Uche in his reaction, hailed the Nigerian government for its boldness of signing the controversial anti-gay bill into law, urging that President Goodluck Jonathan should not be bothered about the expressed opposition from the American government.
…Director of Social Communications at the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Monsignor Gabriel Osu congratulated the Nigerian government for the commitment demonstrated on the anti-gay bill, saying that the opposition coming from the American government should not be a surprise to anybody.
…Earlier, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, under the leadership of Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar 111, had urged Muslims to pray fervently against what it described as conspiracies to legalise gay marriage and under-age marriage in the country.
According to the JNI, there was need for Muslims to pray against all manners of conspiracies on the two issues.
A statement signed by the JNI Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, said that, “We urge Muslim brothers and sisters to pray fervently especially for the Ummah against all manners of conspiracies in the name of gay marriage, and early or under age marriage as now being touted with seeming impunity in the country.”
Should humanists be angry at religious beliefs. Fucking right we should.