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 VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
January 17, 2014 7:27 AM
For once president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan deserves praises, at least from my angle. I may not be one of his greatest fans, but I identify with him in this bold step he has taken to identify with Nigeria's yearning for justice, credibility and peace. Based on this action I hear some western nations like Britain, USA and Canada are threatening to withdraw their aid to the country. I do not know which country of the world Nigeria still depends on for aid, even though it is certain that some western countries try to sustain some level of leverage with Nigeria by giving some aid here and there, which is not life sustaining.

It is because many Nigerians are so stupid to continue to see these countries as even better than first home. Some Nigerians travel to Britain more than they visit their local market in a year. I think this is bloating the ego out there making Britain think that Nigeria cannot survive without it. Is it Canada or USA? In conjunction with Britain, these have stolen Nigeria's money and wealth in the past, encouraged corrupt public office holders who own much of their housing property so much so that if these countries threaten to confiscate those properties, it will cause irreparable harm to them. Those are the people they can threaten, for there is no amount of aid they can give to Nigeria today that can quantify any tangible result. But if Nigeria and other African countries truly need aid, they know the avenues to obtain it - from countries that are truly buoyant, willing and with no strings attached. Those countries - China for instance - are not threatening the continent in terms of "you must worship same sex marriage to be be our friend". NONESENSE! Kudos to President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria.

In Response

by: Andrew from: Beijing
January 18, 2014 10:12 PM
God Bless you, Godwin, and all Nigerians, if you think China is going to be anything positive for Africa.
I'm an American in Beijing, and after being hear for almost 5 years and hearing, reading, and seeing China's plans for Africa, I'm sad to know that my lifetime will see the extinction of the African continent by China's hands.
But, good for you if you think that's a positive outcome. I don't want to push my ungodly American beliefs on you. You go ahead and celebrate criminalizing your fellow Nigerians, and counting on China to lead the way.


by: DODO from: ABUJA
January 16, 2014 3:15 PM
The reality is the anti gay law is not all about President Jonathan and his administration.Rather it is basically about the Nigerian people and what we want. it is against our culture & most importantly against GOD Who wisely created a man & woman.


by: Victor Mordi from: LAGOS
January 16, 2014 1:56 PM
That is to say that President Jonathan is not all that a weak Leader as most of us think. This is one of the greatest and courageous declaration of an African leather and its worthy of honorable applause.
oh America and Europe we have lost our moral values and we claim to uphold the integrity and visions of the founding fathers like George Washigton.Abraham Lincoln. even animals wont dare to debate on this.cause they have enough sense to know that God created beings male and female.



by: Max Ajida from: Pretoria South Africa
January 16, 2014 1:20 PM
Jonathan, the custodians of Nigerian people and he works for them. As president of Nigeria ,he has done what his people want him to do for them and not Ba Ki Moon and his entourage.The UN must know that there're other issues that violates the culture of other people like being is totally an abomination in African society. Accepting gayism among these people is also violating their rights.They must lecture us about UN charter. The indegenous have also their that and that is no gays allowed in their society. Pillay and her collegues must know this.We can not abandon our charter in favour of the UN. Jonathan , job well done and am sure other African leaders must follow suit.Our culture prohibits. Gays that's all and unnegotiable.


by: The WASP from: Washington DC
January 16, 2014 12:47 PM
Finally a world leader that is not a doodoo chaser!

Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid