Despite growing pressure from the international community and human rights activists demanding that Nigeria stop the criminalization of same sex marriage, the Senate President, David Mark has insisted the bill prohibiting same sex marriage is “irrevocable” and the “law has come to stay”.
He said in Abuja that the bill would promote “decency” in the Nigerian society. Same sex marriage will become a criminal offence in Nigeria and punishable by imprisonment of not less than 14 years if the bill is eventually signed into law.
He is quoted as saying: “We will not compromise on this. I want to invite you all to join the crusade of decency in our society. There are many good values we can copy from other societies, but certainly not this one (same sex marriage).”
“We have to prove to the rest of the world, who are advocates of this unnatural way that we Nigerians promote and respect sanity, morality and humanity. Every individual is a product of the union of a man and woman.”
The Nigerian Senate approved the bill that would make same-sex marriage punishable by 14 years imprisonment for gay couples and 10 years imprisonment for anyone abetting such unions in November 2011. According to the provisions of the bill, “Any person who … directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationships, is also liable and punishable with a 10-year sentence.”
The bill which also outlaws gay organisations has passed the second reading in the House of Representatives with a unanimous vote and will be forwarded to the President for approval after a clause-by-clause review and approval of the law by the Reps this year.