MEPs CALL ON NIGERIA TO DITCH ANTI-GAY LEGISLATION
GREENS CONDEMN STATE-SPONSORED HOMOPHOBIA AND DISCRIMINATION
GREEN Euro-MP Caroline Lucas has called on the Nigerian government to
abandon plans to ban same-sex relationships and organisations representing
gays and lesbians.
Dr Lucas has joined some 60 MEPs from all major parties in condemning the
proposed law, which she says will violate several human rights treaties
signed by Nigeria – and enhance a culture of fear, discrimination and
repression in the west African state.
“The proposed law aims to introduce new criminal penalties for homosexuality
as well as for public advocacy or associations supporting lesbian and gay
rights – and as such is an intolerable breach of international law and the
rights and freedoms of lesbians and gay men in Nigeria,” she said.
“If approved, it will breach the freedom of expression, assembly,
association and conscience protected by UN and African Union human rights
treaties – and is likely to undermine Nigeria’s efforts to combat the spread
The legislation would introduce a sentence of up to five years in prison for
any person marrying another of the same sex, or who witnesses, aids or abets
the ceremony of a same-sex marriage, is involved in the registration of gay
clubs, societies and organisations, processions or meetings.
Dr Lucas added: “This proposed legislation will make life intolerable for
many in Nigeria, and place the country even further outside the norms of
international human rights law. I urge its Government to scrap the proposal,
and the Governments of EU members to raise the matter with their Nigerian
counterparts as a matter of urgency.”
The South-East England MEP made her comments in an open letter demanding the
authorities in Abuja ditch the draft law, end official discrimination,
guarantee the safety of minorities and fully respect all international human
rights obligations under the International Covenant of Civil and Political