A new anti-homosexuality law in Nigeria

Location of Katsina State in Nigeria. (Map courtesy of Wikipedia)
Location of Katsina State in Nigeria. (Map courtesy of Wikipedia)

The legislature of Katsina State in northern Nigeria added to that country’s patchwork quilt of anti-gay laws on Dec. 3, passing a law providing for 14 years in prison for same-sex relations between either men or women. [On Dec. 12, the governor of Katsina State signed the law.]

The same state law also applies to anyone convicted of same-sex sexual harassment of students, job-seekers, employees and others, the Nigerian Daily Post reported, citing the News Agency of Nigeria.

Federal law in Nigeria already provides for 14 years imprisonment for such “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature.”

Osun State also has its own anti-homosexuality law under which two men were charged in October.

In addition, 12 northern Nigerian states, including Katsina, have adopted Islamic sharia law, which at least on paper provides for up to the death penalty for male-male sex and whipping and/or prison for lesbian sex.

Both the Senate and House in Nigeria have passed slightly different versions of legislation that would provide up to 14 years in prison for same-sex marriages, as well as up to 10 years in prison for witnesses and assistants at same-sex weddings, members of gay-rights organizations, and those who make a “public show of same-sex amorous relationships directly or indirectly.”

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at [email protected]

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