The United States on Monday has criticized Nigeria for approving a law that punishes same-sex marriage with prison, saying the move would curtail basic human rights reports the Vanguard.
The rebuke came from Secretary of State John Kerry, who said said the United States was “deeply concerned” by Nigeria’s new law which “dangerously restricts freedom of assembly, association and expression for all Nigerians.”
He said further that the act “is inconsistent with Nigeria’s international legal obligations and undermines the democratic reforms and human rights protections enshrined in its 1999 constitution.”
“People everywhere deserve to live in freedom and equality. No one should face violence or discrimination for who they are or who they love,”
Under the new law, anyone in a same-sex marriage or union would face up to 14 years in prison, with such partnerships reached overseas considered void in Nigeria.
Meanwhile Reuben Abati, spokesman for President Goodluck Jonathan while defending his boss told AFP that he signed the law because he considered it consistent with most Nigerians’ views toward homosexuality.
The United States is considered to have generally warm relations with Nigeria but President Barack Obama’s administration has increasingly put a priority on fighting for gay rights overseas.
In Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni has said that he will not rush into signing a law under which gays would be jailed after criticism from Obama, Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu and other global figures.(AFP)