The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill forbidding same-sex marriage in Nigeria and imposed a 10 to 14 year jail term for anybody who violates the law.
The lawmakers in a unanimous voice vote, approved the “bill for an Act to prohibit marriage or civil union entered between persons of same sex, solemnization of same and for other matters related there with.”
The bill specifically prohibits the solemnization of marriage or civil union between persons of same gender in any place of worship either church or mosque or in any place in Nigeria.
The Senate which initiated the bill gave its approval late in 2011.
The bill provides that “persons that entered into a same gender marriage or civil union contract commit an offense and are jointly liable on conviction to a term of 14 years imprisonment each.”
The bill also stipulates that “any person, who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations or directly or indirectly make a public show of same sex amorous relationship commits an offence and shall be liable to a term of 10 years imprisonment.”
It also prescribes a 10 year jail term for “any persons or group of persons that administer witness, abet, screen, shield and aid the solemnization of a same sex marriage contract or civil union or supports the registration of gay clubs, societies and organizations, processions or meetings in Nigeria.
The bill voids marriage or civil union consummated between persons of same gender by virtue of a certificate issued in a foreign country.
The bill needs the assent of President Goodluck Jonathan for it to become law.