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Nigeria Moves To Make Meeting With Gays A Crime


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Nigeria Moves To Make Meeting With Gays A Crime

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: December 11, 2006 5:00 pm ET

(Lagos) Legislation being considered by Nigeria's House of Representatives would make it a criminal offense to associate with known homosexuals.

The bill would make make any meeting between two or more people where one is gay a crime punishable up to five years behind bars.

The legislation adds to the growing isolation of gays and lesbians in the African nation where sodomy is illegal. In northern Nigeria, which is under Islamic law, homosexuality can be punishable by death and in the rest of the country by long prison terms.

Earlier this year Nigeria made it illegal for same-sex couples to go abroad to marry. When they return they could be imprisoned for five years. Even attending a gay wedding could result in imprisonment.

Civil rights advocates say the anti-gay laws contravene Nigeria's constitution and international law, but the country's LGBT population is so closeted and fearful there has been no opposition to the legislation from within the country.

The new bill has the support of Nigeria's Anglican Church which has been at the forefront of opposing gay clergy in the denomination.

Lawmakers say the bill is in reaction to South Africa's new law allowing same-sex couples to wed.

In Zimbabwe The South African move has resulted in a new wave of state sponsored homophobia.

In the weeks leading up to South Africa's historic vote making it the first country in Africa to legalize same-sex unions a delegation of 60 top South African officials were blasted over gay marriage when they arrived in Harare by State Security Minister, Didymus Mutasa.

In July government passed the "sexual deviancy" law making it a criminal offense for two people of the same sex to hold hands, hug, or kiss.

©365Gay.com 2006


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