News / Africa

Nigeria President Jonathan ‘Praised’ For Same-Sex Prohibition Law

Nigeria - Johnson
Nigeria - Johnson
Peter Clottey
Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan has received overwhelming support from Nigerians after signing a law that prohibits same-sex marriages, according to Reuben Abati, spokesman for Jonathan.

He says Nigerian lawmakers unanimously voted for the same-sex prohibition measure after receiving inputs from their constituents across the country.

The law imposes a 14-year jail sentence for same-sex couples. The same-sex marriage prohibition law also bans gay clubs, associations and other activities that promote homosexuality, according to Abati.

  “In accenting to this bill on January 7, President Jonathan took special cognizant of the fact that the bill and its positions reflects the religious and cultural preferences of the Nigerian people,” said Abati. “There is no way in which this [law] violates the Nigerian constitution, either section 42 which talks about freedom from discrimination or other parts of the constitution, and there is no way it violates the criminal code or the penal code.”

The U.S. State Department, however, said in a statement that the measure is “inconsistent with Nigeria’s international legal obligations and undermines the democratic reforms and human rights protections enshrined in its 1999 Constitution.”

Nigeria has come under international criticism following the implementation of the same-sex marriage prohibition law that some observers have characterized as “inhumane and draconian.”

Both the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, expressed concern about the Nigerian law, in a press statement released by the spokesperson of the UN Secretary General.

“The Secretary-General reiterates that everyone is entitled to enjoy the same basic rights and live a life of worth and dignity without discrimination. This fundamental principle is embedded in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights… The Secretary-General strongly hopes that the constitutionality of the law can be reviewed,” read part of the statement.

But, Abati says over 90 percent of Nigerians have praised President Jonathan for signing the law that prohibits same-sex marriages.

“If President Jonathan had done otherwise, then of course he would have been condemned by the Nigerian people,” said Abati. “What the world must realize is if the president had refused to sign the bill into law the national assembly would have vetoed the president, and [their] position would have been that we are the representative of the people and this is what the Nigerian people want.”

Some observers say the law gives legal backing to those who violently attack members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

But Abati says the law does not empower people to create chaos.

“The law as phrased does not encourage lawlessness. In no way does any law in Nigeria encourage anybody to take the laws into their hands,” said Abati. “What the law says is within the framework of decency within the framework of due process. The law does not saw individuals can attack or demonize or take the law into their own hands against people who claim that they are gay.”

He says those violently attacked could seek redress in court.
Clottey interview with Rueben Abati, President Jonathan's adviser
Clottey interview with Rueben Abati, President Jonathan's adviseri
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Anonymous
January 25, 2014 4:58 AM
Is very bad and againt the of the supreme beign which is God,for in the begining God creat Adam and give him a wife which is Eve .But who ever that change what God has made wil recieve the affliction.

by: LEONARD CHIEMEZIE ODO from: KADUNA
January 23, 2014 3:24 AM
THIS TELLS ME THAT GOD REALLY HAS PURPOSE FOR OUR COUNTRY NIGE RIA.

by: Anonymous
January 20, 2014 6:22 AM
We Nigerians still belive in the suprimecy of God and also owe aligence to him, and cannot suport any thing that is against his will for mankind, such like same sex mariage, for God made woman for man, and not man for man or woman for woman, even animals still obey this natural law why would human do otherwise
In Response

by: Izzy from: England
January 23, 2014 3:32 PM
I think you will find that yes, men and women are made to reproduce together but LOVE is a whole other thing. Anyone can fall in love, and it is not their fault if they do so. Also, their is homosexuality in ALL species of animals, there are even asexual animals who still reproduce.. Do your research, everyone should be equal.

by: Anonymous
January 20, 2014 5:55 AM
We Nigerians still belive in the suprimecy of God and also owe aligence to him, and cannot suport any thing that is against his will for mankind, such like same sex mariage, for God made woman for man, and not man for man or woman for woman, even animals still obey this natural law why would human do otherwise

by: Anonymous
January 20, 2014 5:55 AM
We Nigerians still belive in the suprimecy of God and also owe aligence to him, and cannot suport any thing that is against his will for mankind, such like same sex mariage, for God made woman for man, and not man for man or woman for woman, even animals still obey this natural law why would human do otherwise

by: John Beck from: United Statez
January 19, 2014 10:33 PM
Good for your president ... Go by the Bible ... I dont hate homosexuals but they should fight their disgusting urges goes against why God put us here to marry and love a woman and woman man ... Good for your country ...
In Response

by: michael nii kekel from: nigeria laspotech lagos
January 21, 2014 5:25 AM
i salute Ur buoyant courage good luck Jonathan.. @ least you make us proud.. we Nigerians are Godly .. we follow what the bible command.. the bible also point out on men who lay with me will never inherit the kingdom of God.. we neither care about the stupidity of USA on useless human right...we worship the almighty not the God of human right.. thanks to you our president...

by: ebuzor bright Kenneth from: Thailand
January 19, 2014 3:02 AM
God bless our president,Dr. Goodluck ebele azikiwe Jonathan.it is better to do the will of God than to please men.all kingdoms,authority,Dominions,nation,power are his.he makes great and can make low.4 obedient to God your generation is blessed for ever.amen

by: john smith from: texas
January 18, 2014 8:50 PM
jJONATHAN MUST BE REALLY STUPID DOES HE NOT KNOW THAT GOD PUT THE GAY MAN ON THE PLANET
In Response

by: JERRY JANG from: JOS NIGERIA
January 19, 2014 4:14 AM
MR SMITH. GOD CREATED ADAM AND EVE NOT ADAM AND ADAM NOR EVE AND EVE. ANYTHING SAMESEX MARRIAGE IS SATANIC, AND IS AGAINS GOD (ANTI-CHRIST) WE SHOULDN'T MISS LEAD THE WORLD.

by: Marshall from: Willy
January 18, 2014 11:33 AM
Nigeria is a great country and I am glad the people there are still in their right senses. One great thing that keeps bringing Nigerians as One is the fact that we are very religious, whatever we do or the Govt should still be in accordance to our religious beliefs , our constitution. Let us all as Nigerians continue to stand by GEJ signature banning gay marriage. We shouldn't allow the stupid uneccessary freedom of human rights in wrong direction in our country. God bless Nigerians and bless the Federal republic of Nigeria.
In Response

by: React from: Nigeria
January 20, 2014 3:31 AM
Religious my butt, and we are still suffering from poverty, corruption and terrorism. Nigerians are blind, #GEJ is destroying our nation and some folks think an anti-gay law is worth giving praise. More 3rd world mentality
In Response

by: Fernando Martinez from: Madrid - Spain
January 19, 2014 5:15 AM
So you say that "One great thing that keeps bringing Nigerians as One is the fact that we are very religious,"

Needless to say that what we know as Nigeria is an artificial country with borders designed by slave-traders in the past, dividing traditional tribes, making a big mess of religions, cultures and very different people.

Feel free to say such things if it makes you happier, but building your life and opinions in such a biased reality (that African Countries are countries as we know, with similar culture and beliefs) is the same as pretending that actual USA citizens are all descendant from native North Americans.

by: Drew from: Memphis, TN
January 17, 2014 2:34 PM
It makes me proud that America is a secular nation where no Bible, Torah, Kuran, or religious text can ever set law...gay people are just that...people...and I cannot support my tax dollars going to third-world nations like Nigeria in the form of aid...If Nigeria wants to harass their own citizens they will do it without the support of Europe/North America
In Response

by: Don Hogan from: Lagos
January 23, 2014 6:24 AM
I'm tired of hearing this freedoom shit and tax dollar craps. Who do you think that you are helping? You came to Africa with guns, you killed our kings and destroyed our kingdoms, you capture our people and forced one tribe on the other to sale themselves as slaves, so that you can build you so called great country. You stole our gold helped roughs loot our treasure and dumped them in your bank, at the expense of the African masses. Are you really serious about you "tax dollars"?
Today is gay, tomorrow you'll want us to sleep with animals and the next day you want us to accept gun laws,For decades, you force African governments to devalue our currencies, buy arms from you and turn around to sell the same arms to rebels... Are you people really serious? Do you really want us to count you as Allies, friends or partners? With treats and sanctions all the time, when we express our views?
Each time Africans want to live their own lives and practice their traditions, you threaten us with sanctions, where then is the International right to sovereignty of nations, freedom of expression and democratic values where majority votes decide?
In Africa, there is polygamy, would you accept that in your country?; Of course NO, but we never forced it on you or practice is in your country. When you came here all we need is, respect our laws and don't force your culture on us. African who are gays can practice where they want but not in our open societies.
Leave our children alone.
As for your tax dollars. you can go to hell with them!
In Response

by: chyka from: lagos
January 18, 2014 7:12 PM
The thing with you Europeans and Americans is that you can't force people to live your uncultured & unreligious lives. We they Nigerian people want same sex ban. Ok?
In Response

by: saleem from: lagos , Nigeria
January 18, 2014 4:48 PM
For your information Mr drew, Nigeria is not a third world country And its evident we are still in our right senses
In Response

by: Anonymous from: USA
January 18, 2014 11:45 AM
Its not the upholding of the law that is the issue, rather how many people will be locked up based on false allegations of being gay.
GJ now has a leverage for the upcoming elections, "lock'em up & say they're gay".

Enjoy Nigerians

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More