UK Government: Nigeria’s anti-gay law infringes upon fundamental human rights

January 14, 2014
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The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has criticised Nigeria for banning same-sex marriages and for further criminalising homosexuality.

An FCO spokesperson told “The Nigerian Government is aware of our concerns about the bill which was passed by the National Assembly in December as it infringes upon fundamental rights of expression and association which are guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution and by international agreements to which Nigeria is a party.”

The spokesperson added: “The UK opposes any form of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.”

Ahead of the UK’s remarks, US Secretary of State John Kerry issued a strong statement condemning Nigeria’s actions. “It is inconsistent with Nigeria’s international legal obligations and undermines the democratic reforms and human rights protections enshrined in its 1999 Constitution,” Mr Kerry said.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan quietly signed the strict measure into law earlier this month, but news only emerged on Monday.

According to the law, anyone who enters into a same-sex marriage, civil union or domestic partnership could face up to 14 years in prison. Additionally, same-sex marriages legally performed in other countries would be considered void by the Nigerian Government.

The law also restricts LGBT citizens from meeting in public settings.


Related topics: Africa, Africa, anti-gay law, anti-gay laws, FCO, foreign and commonwealth office, foreign office, homophobic law, homophobic laws, Nigeria, uk government

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