Nigeria Quietly Bans Gay Marriage

New law also bans homosexual displays of affection
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 13, 2014 12:47 PM CST
Nigeria Quietly Bans Gay Marriage
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan waves at photographers as he leaves after his meeting with David Cameron, at 10 Downing Street, in this Feb. 11, 2013 file photo.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, FILE)

Nigeria has quietly signed a controversial law banning same-sex marriage, along with gay clubs, organizations, and public displays of homosexual affection. How quietly? Well, the legislature passed it back on Dec. 17, and President Goodluck Jonathan signed it last Tuesday, according to a copy obtained by the AP, but it's only now coming to light.

John Kerry said today that the United States was "deeply concerned" by a law that "dangerously restricts freedom of assembly, association, and expression for all Nigerians." The law says that anyone who "directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship" faces up to 10 years in prison, as does anyone forming a gay society or club. Entering into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Homosexual sex is illegal in Nigeria thanks to a law inherited from British colonizers. (More Nigeria stories.)

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