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On Monday, United States’ Secretary of State John Kerry condemned a fresh Nigerian law which stops same sex weddings and vastly limits the rights of lesbian and gay citizens to even assemble together.
Goodluck Jonathan, the President of Nigeria, signed the strict measure quietly into law earlier in January, but the news came out first on Monday afternoon. The revelation drew a swift reaction from John Kerry.
In a statement, John Kerry stated that beyond even prohibiting same sex wedding, this law dangerously restricts freedom of assembly, association, and expression for all Nigerian people.
As per the new law, anyone who comes into a same sex wedding, domestic partnership or civil union might face up to fourteen years in jail. More than that, same sex weddings that are legally performed in other nations would be considered null by the government of Nigeria. The new law also stops lesbian and gay citizens from gathering in public settings.
The fresh regulations stated that any person, who participates, operates or registers in gay societies, organizations and clubs or indirectly or directly makes public show of same sex relationship in Nigeria would be considered as an offence and would each be liable on conviction to a term of ten years in prison.
As per The US Secretary of State, it is inconsistent with Nigeria’s international legal obligations and undermines the democratic reforms and human rights protections enshrined in its 1999 Constitution.