- Category: Politics
- Published on Wednesday, 30 November 2011 09:24
- Written by Admin
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The Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved a penalty of 14 years imprisonment for any person who enters into same sex marriage contract or civil union in Nigeria.
With this, the Senate yesterday brushed aside threats from Britain to cut aids to African countries that violate the rights of gays and lesbians by passing a bill which criminalises same sex marriage.
Section 5 of the same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill states that “persons who entered into a same sex marriage contract, or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction to a term of 14 years in prison”.
Sub-sections 2 and 3 also stipulate fines for any person who either operates or participates in gay marriages as well as spell out punishment and fines for witnesses.
“Any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations or directly or indirectly make public show of same sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison.
“Any person or group of persons that witness, abet and aids the solemnisation of a same sex marriage or civil union or supports the registration, operation and sustenance of gay clubs, societies, organisations, processions or meetings in Nigeria commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment”.
Passing the bill, Senate President David Mark, noted the controversy that trailed it and said many people were misinformed and confused the passage of the bill into law to mean endorsement of same sex marriage.
He said any country that would refuse the country any assistance for the passage of the bill should hold it, saying the practice of same sex marriage remains strange to Nigerian cultural values and practices.
Ghana’s President John Atta-Mills had also called the bluff of Britain and asked the latter to keep her aids for the passage of anti-gay marriage bill after British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to withhold assistance to countries who are anti-gay and are sponsoring legislation against its practice.