The Senate has passed a Law to Ban Same Sex Marriage in Nigeria. The new law also bans performing or engaging in any form of homosexual activity or being a part of any gay gathering. Such person will be prosecuted and could face up to 10 years in Jail. Nigeria’s Senate voted Tuesday to criminalize gay marriage, instituting prison terms of more than a decade for violations in a nation where gays and lesbians already face discrimination and abuse.
The bill heads to Nigeria’s House of Representatives, who have to approve the bill and send it to President Goodluck Jonathan for his signature before it becomes a law. However, public opinion and lawmakers’ calls for even harsher penalties for homosexuality.
“Such elements in society should be killed,” Sen. Baba Dati said during the debate. Under the measure, couples who marry could face up to 14 years in jail, and witnesses or anyone who helps gay couples marry could be sentenced to 10 years behind bars. That’s an increase over the bill’s initial penalties.
Homosexuality is already technically illegal in Nigeria, a country evenly divided between Christians and Muslims. religions that are nearly universally opposed to homosexuality. In the areas in Nigeria’s north where Islamic Shariah law has been enforced for about a decade, gays and lesbians can face death by stoning.