Following the decision of Nigeria’s lawmakers to pass a new anti-homosexuality law, Prime Minister David Cameron says “nothing should be off the table” when it comes to foreign aid and protecting equal rights.
The prime minister was asked on a BBC World News programme if Britain should dock its aid contributions to the African nation as a result of the Nigerian Parliament’s decision to further criminalise same-sex relations.
Same-sex relationships are already illegal in Nigeria and the new law means gay couples entering into either marriage or cohabitation could face 14 years each in prison.
The law awaits the approval of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr Cameron told the BBC that he would be raising the issue with Nigeria’s leaders.
“With countries like Nigeria, where we have a very good relationship, a very strong relationship, nothing should be off the table”, the prime minister said.
“So when we meet with Nigerian politicians and Nigerian leaders, we should be very clear about those things that we agree about and very clear where we disagree.”
Mr Cameron said that the UK has a “very good record on equal rights for lesbian and gay people”, adding: “we believe that’s right for every country in the world.”
“The matter of your sexuality is something that shouldn’t disadvantage you [just as] your religion, or your race, or the way you should choose your life.”
When asked if UK foreign aid should be docked from Nigeria, the prime minister said: “We will have to have some conversations with them, as I said nothing is off the table and we should have these conversations, but we also have some very important objectives with the Nigerians for instance to deal with the appalling rates of poverty in the north of Nigeria which is part of a problem that affects not just Nigeria but the rest of the world.”
The PM concluded: “But as I said nothing [is] off the table; always prepared to have these conversations, and my view very strongly is that we should have proper equality for lesbian and gay people and that should apply everywhere in the world.”