Nigeria is proposing a law banning same sex marriage. The Federal Executive Council has approved sending the bill to Parliament for consideration. But as English to Africa reporter Paul Okolo tells us from Lagos, while the law may popular among most Nigerians, human rights groups are likely to raise questions about it. He says it prescribes a five-year jail sentence for engaging in same sex relationships or marriage and seeks to ban public rallies by gay rights activists.
Paul quotes the federal information minister, Frank Neweke, as saying that same sex marriages are foreign to Nigerian culture and that the holy books of Nigeria’s two major religions forbid the practice. Paul says analysts are suggesting that the law might have been prompted by a gay rights protest last month in Abuja during the international conference on AIDS in Africa. Nigeria’s population of about 130 million is equally divided between Christians and Moslems.