Nigeria’s senate body has passed a piece of legislation that affirms the ban on same-sex marriages and introduces other harsh anti-homosexuality measures which has only made Nigeria just a bit more anti-gay than usual. This bill will face a vote in the House of Representatives and if it passes, it will go to President Goodluck Jonathan so that he can officially sign the bill into law. The bill has been condemned by many, including Amnesty International, due to the human rights violations the bill introduces.
The Nigerian government’s ignorant, hateful and traditional attitude regarding homosexuals and same-sex marriage is shared throughout Africa, from Tanzania to Uganda and from Zimbabwe to South Africa.
Homosexuals are often targets in the public and often receive little to no help from authorities when they are harassed or even physically harmed.
Largely due to each cultures and the beliefs they hold, mostly religious ones such as those from Christianity or Islam, homosexuality is a sort of “sin” or a taboo in many African societies. Punishments can range from “corrective rape” to long-time imprisonment or unfair fines for homosexuals.
British Prime Minister David Cameron commented that monetary aid and other support pillared by taxpayers could be cut off from African nations that continue to withhold support for the LGBT communities or persecute the minority.
Nigeria’s David Mark, the President of the Senate, furiously railed against Cameron and other Western nations saying that “we are a sovereign nation and we have the right to decide for ourselves!. . .Same sex marriage is against our own culture and tradition and against our beliefs.”
Other African leaders and politicians such as Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe commented that homosexuality is an “abomination” or “satanic” and that homosexuals should even be executed.
Ironically some African politicians have criticized Cameron for his “colonial rhetoric” while supporting anti-homosexual sodomy laws that were implemented by the European imperialists during the era of European imperialism in Africa.
This Nigerian bill includes banning gay clubs, gay organizations, gay societies and other gay assemblies.
Public displays of affection between homosexuals are also banned while homosexuals who actually were LEGALLY married in OTHER countries will NOT be recognized as married couples in Nigeria.
Furthermore the bill stipulates that homosexuals who try to get same sex marriage contracts or civil unions will face up to 10 years in prison. Others who AREN’T homosexual but still support gays and their rights could also face up to 10 years in prison.
In other news, Boko Haram, a group of Islamic militants, have been quite active lately in Nigeria while pirates and saboteurs have been kidnapping tourists and others or blowing up oil pipelines.
Perhaps to the surprise of the Nigerian leaders, none of these criminals actually seem to be gay or committing atrocities in the name of homosexuality. But still, persecuting gays is a higher priority than prosecuting actual criminals!