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The United States has been on a wave to support homosexuality, but the rest of the world has not. In more conservative parts of the world, the gay community continues to live in the shadows and condemned as an abomination of God.
Nigeria recently passed a set of legal restrictions on gay marriage and homosexuality that have outraged the international community. Those in the church have applauded the measures, and more liberal citizens are deeply concerned. The US has condemned the actions, so it will be interesting to see how this impacts foreign relations.
What do you think? Does the international community have the right to have its own interpretation of gay culture that rises above the scrutiny of western society?
Dozens of gay men are reported to have been arrested across northern Nigeria as police begin to enforce punitive new laws that criminalise same-sex marriages and membership of gay rights organisations.
The legislation, condemned by US Secretary of State John Kerry and human rights groups, has come into force just after the Ugandan parliament also passed an anti-homosexual law.
Last week Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which provides penalties of up to 14 years in jail for a gay marriage and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for membership or encouragement of gay clubs, societies and organisations.
Spokesman Reuben Abati said: “This law is in line with the people’s cultural and religious inclination. So it is a law that is a reflection of the beliefs and orientation of Nigerian people … Nigerians are pleased with it.”
Dorothy Aken’Ova, executive director of the country’s International Centre for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights, said the legislation, hailed the “Jail the Gays” law, had led to mass arrests. She said police in Bauchi state had a list of 168 purportedly gay men, of whom 38 had been arrested. Aken’Ova warned that the laws would endanger medical programmes combating HIV/Aids in the gay community. Nigeria has the second-largest HIV epidemic, with an estimated 3.4 million people living with the virus.
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