Nigerian President Signs Bill Banning Gay Relationships

Offenders face up to 14 years in prison, if convicted

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President Jonathan Goodluck of Nigeria signed into law Monday a bill criminalizing relationships between gay and lesbian people, Reuters reports.

Sodomy has long been outlawed in Nigeria, but the new legislation bans gay marriage, same-sex “amorous relationships” and membership in gay rights groups. Offenders face penalties of up to 14 years in prison. 

A spokesperson for the president confirmed to Reuters that he had signed a bill passed by the country’s national assembly in May.

The bill reads:

“Persons who enter into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction to a term of 14 years in prison … Any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organizations or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison.”