The Senate on the 18th of this month unanimously passed a Harmonised Conference Committee report banning same sex marriage in Nigeria.
The Senate passed the Same Sex Marriage Bill, 2011 on November 29, and the House of Representatives passed it on July 2. Following the variations in the two versions passed, both chambers set up a conference committee to harmonise the differences, which appeared essentially in five clauses of the bill.
Happily all that remains for the Bill to become law, is the signature of Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan.
The Bill, which has taken almost two years to pass through the Senate and House of Representatives will outlaw gay marriage and make it punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment. Anyone attending a gay wedding can also be charged and jailed for up to a decade. Officials presiding over a wedding can be punished with jail time of up to five years.
The bill would provide prison sentences of up to 10 years for anyone who supports:
- LGBT-friendly organizations or meetings
- Gay Pride marches
- Gay clubs
The passage is a welcome development.
Senate President David Mark, who presided over the plenary, appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to quickly assent to the bill so that it could become a law. “We have been under a series of attack from different quarters. I think we believe in this bill. “The earlier we sign it into law, the better. We (Nigeria) have many shortcomings, we don’t want to add this one (same sex marriage) to them,” Mark said.
The bill passed by the Senate provides: a marriage contract or civil union entered into between persons of same sex by virtue of a certificate issued by a foreign country shall be void in Nigeria. Also, marriage or civil union entered into between persons of same sex shall not be solemnised in any place of worship either in a church or mosque or any other place in Nigeria.
Again, only marriage contracted between a man and a woman either under Islamic law, Customary law or the Marriage Act is recognised as valid in Nigeria.
Gay right activist have urged President Jonathan not to sign the Bill into law for its infractions on the human rights of Nigeria’s LGBTI community.They are saying that law is not necessary since homosexuality is already illegal, and that the Senate is trying to promote hate and homophobia.
If the law is not necessary why are they pleading with the President not to sign the bill.
I plead with the President to quickly sign this bill into law. Even though Nigeria has a name for financial corruption let us stand out in our fight to prevent moral corruption.
Homosexuality is not a normal human feature, and as such like other tendencies like lying, stealing it can be corrected. That is the message the homosexuals should get we do not hate you guys but we hate homosexuality.
It’s abhorrence to nature can be evidenced in it’s many ills chief among is the prevalence of STD’s mostly HIV/AIDS