Campaigners are preparing to stage a kiss-in at the Nigerian embassy in London to protest against new anti-gay laws in the African state.
The legislation seeks to criminalise same-sex marriage. It stipulates three years’ jail for a person who enters into a same-sex marriage, and five years’ imprisonment and fines for anyone who “witnesses, abet and aids” an unofficial same-sex marriage.
Nigeria already punishes homosexuality with up to 14 years in prison and gay marriage is not recognised in the country.
The kiss-in is being organised by Nigerian LGBTIs in the Diaspora Against Anti-Same-Sex Laws.
Coordintor Yemisi Ilesanmi, said: “Outside the embassy, Nigerian LGBTI people and our allies will hold hands, hug and kiss as a gesture of defiance against the proposed ban on same-sex marriage and in solidarity with our Nigerian LGBTI brothers and sisters. Come and join us to kiss goodbye to this bill and the sodomy laws. International solidarity knows no borders.
“The new Nigerian bill aims to further criminalise same sex relationships. Already, consensual same-sex conduct between adults is a criminal offence carrying up to 14 years imprisonment and in some parts of the country there is the death penalty under Sharia law.”
Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights lobby the Peter Tatchell Foundation, will attend the kiss-in.
He noted: “This proposed new law violates the equality and non-discrimination guarantees of Article 42 of the Nigerian Constitution and Articles 2 and 3 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, which Nigeria has signed and pledged to uphold”.
The group will present the ambassador with a formal position statement by expatriated Nigerian LGBT people.
The kiss-in will take place on the afternoon of 14 November at Nigeria House.