World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Nigeria Pushes “Jail the Gays” Bill


Nigeria pushes “Jail the Gays” bill

House of Representatives approves draconian law

Sign the All Out petition to the Nigerian President

London - 5 December 2012

While the world is focused on Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” bill, the Nigerian House of Representatives has unanimously approved even more sweeping and draconian homophobic legislation, the “Jail the Gays” bill. It could become law within weeks.

The Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill, which now moves forward to the next parliamentary stage, criminalise same-sex marriages and civil unions, with penalties of up to 14 years jail for participants and 10 years jail for anyone who assists or witnesses such a marriage or union.

It also stipulates a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment for support of gay organisations and events, advocacy of gay human rights and for public expressions of same-sex affection.

Heterosexual allies of the Nigerian LGBT community will face also jail under some key clauses.

The bill was originally introduced in 2011 but has been reactivated recently, according to reports by the Nigerian media organisation Vanguard:
http://bit.ly/RRRq3l

See a copy of the bill here:
http://bit.ly/XnsNPs

The online LGBT campaign group, All Out, has a petition against the bill, which has so far gathered over 100,000 signatures. See here and SIGN:
http://www.allout.org/nigeria-veto

“The bill is now undergoing a clause-by-clause review by a Committee of the Whole House. It was previously voted to be passed into law by the Senate. Since then, it has been approved at the Second Reading stage in the House of Representatives. It could become law within weeks. If approved by both houses of parliament, the bill would then be presented to the President, Goodluck Jonathan, to sign into law,” said Yemisi Ilesanmi, a bisexual Nigerian activist and coordinator of the campaign group, Nigerian LGBTIs in the Diaspora Against Anti-Same-Sex Laws (NLDAASSL).

“Pressure can be put on the President to refuse to give his assent to the bill. In 2006 and 2009 attempts to pass similar legislation were thwarted by a combination of the legislation running out of parliamentary time and a strong campaign by Nigerian and international activists.

“If the President refused to accept the bill, the National Assembly would need a two-thirds majority to over-ride his authority and make the bill law without presidential consent. Given the recent overwhelming parliamentary votes in favour of the bill, politicians could probably block a rejection of the legislation by the President.

“If it became law, the bill would lead to political, legal and social harassment of people for their actual or imputed sexual orientation. It would also stifle freedom of expression and association through the proposed ban on organisations that support LGBT people and rights.

"Every Nigerian deserves the same right as every other Nigerian, irrespective of class, sex, race, gender identity or sexual orientation. Consensual adults do not deserve to have their love criminalised. LGBT rights are human rights and they are inalienable rights that should not even be voted on. This bill is homophobic and draconian. It should be dropped.

“Every voice for human rights counts, whether local or international. Let us all come together as supporters of human rights to condemn this bill and demand equal rights for all. There should be freedom to love for all Nigerians," said Ms Ilesanmi.

For a full statement on the bill by Nigerian LGBTIs in the Diaspora against Anti-Same-Sex Laws, see here:
http://bit.ly/Qnr22Z

The human rights advocacy organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation is supporting the Nigerian activists. Its Director, Peter Tatchell, said:

“This bill violates the equality and non-discrimination guarantees of Article 42 of the Nigerian Constitution and Articles 2 and 3 of the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, which Nigeria has signed and pledged to uphold. See details below.

“There is a good chance that this bill, and Nigeria’s long-standing criminalisation of same-sex relations, can be challenged in the courts. This could be a future option for LGBT campaigners and human rights defenders.

“Nigeria already has a tough anti-gay law that designates up to 14 years jail for men who have sex with men. In northern parts of the country, where sharia law prevails, gay and bisexual men can face the death penalty.

“The criminalisation of homosexuality is not an authentic national law that originated in Nigerian jurisprudence. It was imposed on Nigeria by the British colonial administration in the nineteenth century. Despite Nigeria now being an independent country, this British colonial law has never been repealed.

“Our Nigerian colleagues are still hopeful that they can defeat the bill at the next stage. We stand in solidarity with their struggle for LGBT equality,” said Mr Tatchell.

In opposing the bill, the All Out petition organisers have been working with partner organisations in Nigeria, including Changing Attitude Nigeria, Improved Youth Health Initiative, Initiative for Advancement of Humanity, International Centre for Advocacy on Right to Health, Sexual Minorities Against AIDS in Nigeria, The Initiative for Equal Rights, The Initiative for Improved Male Health - plus Nigerian LGBTIs in the Diaspora Against Anti-Same-Sex Laws.

This news release has been drafted and issued in consultation with Nigerian LGBTIs in the Diaspora against Anti-Same-Sex Laws:
Yemisi Ilesanmi -nanfs2001@yahoo.com
Davis Mac-Iyalla – dmaciyalla@gmail.com
John Adewoye - teju9999@yahoo.com
Mojisola Adebayo - mojisolaadebayo@hotmail.com
Toyin Ajao - teeajao@yahoo.com
Nieros Oyegun -


Background briefing and analysis
Read Sanyu Awori and Rithika Nair of the Strategic Initiatives Programme at the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative:
http://bit.ly/Udn33B


Nigerian Constitution – Article 42

42. (1) A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:-

(a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject;

See here:
http://www.nigeria-law.org/ConstitutionOfTheFederalRepublicOfNigeria.htm


African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights - Articles 2 and 3

Article 2
Every individual shall be entitled to the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms recognized and guaranteed in the present Charter without distinction of any kind such as race, ethnic group, colour, sex, language, religion, political or any other opinion, national and social origin, fortune, birth or other status.

Article 3
1. Every individual shall be equal before the law. 2. Every individual shall be entitled to equal protection of the law.

See here:
http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/z1afchar.htm

Protest against the "Jail the Gays" bill outside the Nigerian High Commission in London


Click for big version.

Web: www.PeterTatchellFoundation.org

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news