For the first time Nigeria is standing on its decision against gay marriage despite threats from international organisations.
Nigeria’s House of Representatives voted Thursday to ban gay marriage and outlaw any groups actively supporting gay rights, endorsing a measure that also calls for 14-year prison sentences for any “public show” of affection by same-sex couples.
The Bill recommends 14 years jail term for offenders. The European Union reacted to the bill by the House of Representatives describing it as seeking to restrict Nigerians’ freedom of expression, association and assembly. In a statement issued by Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, she posited that the EU neither encourages nor discourages people of same sex getting married, but insisted their rights must be protected.
The statement reads: “I am concerned that Nigerian law makers have voted to accept a bill that would criminalise same sex marriage. The EU seeks neither to promote nor discourage same sex marriages, but has been clear it opposes discrimination or any form of legislation that seeks to persecute someone on the basis of sexual orientation. The EU also opposes any restrictions on freedom of expression, association and assembly, or persecution of those who defend these freedoms.”
Why did the EU respond to this issue so swiftly? A lot of scholars are of the opinion that Nigeria is still very dependent on the western world. After the response of the EU, one would have expected that Nigerian lawmakers would rephrase to soothe the appeal. On the contrary, on Friday, David Mark responded by saying that the bill was irreversible. Kudos to Nigeria. I wish they could do same in every area thereby showing the lead for other black countries to follow.
In the world, the gay community is spreading. Gay marriage already has legal recognition in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United States and Uruguay.
Aside Nigeria the subject is being debated in Australia, China, Colombia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Nepal, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and Vietnam.
It pleases me and probably 90 percent of Nigerians that Nigeria recognizes neither same-sex marriages nor civil unions for same sex couples. Homosexuality can land men up to 14 years in prison in Southern Nigeria and capital punishment for men in areas under Sharia Islamic Law.
On January 18, 2007 the Federal Executive Council approved a law, Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2006, prohibiting same sex marriages and sent it to the National assembly for urgent action. According to the Minister of Justice, Chief Bayo Ojo, the law was pushed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo following demonstrations for same sex marriage during the international conference on HIV/AIDS in 2005.
The intent of the bill is to ban anything remotely associated with being ‘gay’ or just gay in the country.
Again, in February 2006, the United States State Department condemned the proposal. In March 2006, 16 international human rights groups signed a letter condemning the bill, calling it a violation of the freedoms of expression, association and assembly guaranteed by international law as well as by the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and a barrier to the struggle against the spread of AIDS.
In my opinion, the recent passing of the bill was for the best because allowing gay and lesbian act to be legal in Nigeria will be very detrimental to the society especially the youth.
Gay marriage should be forever scraped because it is not marriage. Calling something marriage does not make it marriage. Marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman which is by its nature ordered toward the procreation and education of children and the unity and wellbeing of the spouses. The promoters of same-sex “marriage” propose something entirely different. They propose the union between two men or two women. This denies the self-evident biological, physiological, and psychological differences between men and women which find their complements in marriage. It also denies the specific primary purpose of marriage: the perpetuation of the human race and the raising of children.
It violates natural law: Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It is a relationship rooted in human nature and thus governed by natural law.
Natural law’s most elementary precept is that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” By his natural reason, man can perceive what is morally good or bad for him. Thus, he can know the end or purpose of each of his acts and how it is morally wrong to transform the means that help him accomplish an act into the act’s purpose.
Any situation which institutionalizes the circumvention of the purpose of the sexual act violates natural law and the objective norm of morality.
It always denies a child either a father or a mother. It is in the child’s best interests that he be raised under the influence of his natural father and mother. This rule is confirmed by the evident difficulties faced by the many children who are orphans or are raised by a single parent, a relative, or a foster parent. The unfortunate situation of these children will be the norm for all children of a same-sex “marriage.” A child of a same-sex “marriage” will always be deprived of either his natural mother or father. He will necessarily be raised by one party who has no blood relationship with him. He will always be deprived of either a mother or a father role model. Same-sex “marriage” ignores a child’s best interests.
It validates and promotes the homosexual lifestyle: in the name of the “family,” same-sex “marriage” serves to validate not only such unions but the whole homosexual lifestyle in all its bisexual and transgender variants. Legal recognition of same-sex “marriage” would necessarily obscure certain basic moral values, devalue traditional marriage, and weaken public morality.
It turns a moral wrong into a Civil Right: Homosexual activists argue that same-sex “marriage” is a civil rights issue similar to the struggle for racial equality in the 1960s. This is false. Sexual behaviour and race are essentially different realities. A man and a woman wanting to marry may be different in their characteristics: one may be black, the other white; one rich, the other poor; or one tall, the other short. None of these differences are insurmountable obstacles to marriage. The two individuals are still man and woman, and thus the requirements of nature are respected. Same-sex “marriage” opposes nature. Two individuals of the same sex, regardless of their race, wealth, stature, erudition or fame, will never be able to marry because of an insurmountable biological impossibility.
Nigeria made the right choice to secure the future of the country and we are very proud of that decision.