March 7 Global Day of Action against Nigeria's Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Law

Published: March 6, 2014

March 6, 2014— The Solidarity Alliance Nigeria calls on the rest of the world to join in a Global Day of Action to speak out against Nigeria’s draconian anti?homosexuality law. On the 14th of January 2014, the world woke up to the shocking news that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill previously passed by the National Assembly that criminalizes gay relationships and prescribes 14 years imprisonment for LGBT people in the country (the “Nigerian Anti?Gay Law”).
 
The law also criminalizes the witnessing or aiding of same?sex relationships, as well as direct or indirect public displays of same?sex “amorous relationship”.
 
Worse still, the law imposes a prison sentence of 10 years on anyone who initiates or supports the registration of gay clubs, societies and organizations; or whose actions permit the sustenance, processions, and meetings of gay people. This could include the organizations and healthcare workers that provide HIV/AIDS care and other health services to LGBT; many HIV services have shut down across the country.
 
The UN Human Rights chief, Navi Pillay said of this law: “Rarely have I seen a piece of legislation that in so few paragraphs directly violates so many basic, universal human rights.”
 
Since the signing of the Nigerian Anti?Same Sex Marriage Law, a number of people have been arrested in Nigeria, especially in the north of the country. In the state of Bauchi alone, more than a dozen people were arrested under the law and arraigned in court. In at least one instance, mobs have threatened and pelted a courthouse with stones, after being unable to inflict violence on the accused
persons. In the south of the country, mob violence against LGBT people has increased.
 
Today, the Nigerian LGBT community and their friends, families, and allies live in an atmosphere of fear and insecurity.
 
In the light of these disturbing facts, the Solidarity Alliance Nigeria calls on the rest of the world to join it in calling for:
 
1. International celebrities to boycott Nigeria until the law is overturned
2. The World Bank, the United Nations, UNAIDS, and the European Union to start a
conversation with Nigerian government about revoking the law
3. World leaders to discuss the law’s impact during conversations with the Nigerian government.
 
Global Day of Action rallies will be held in cities around the world, including: Amsterdam, Holland; Brussels, Belgium; Cape Town, South Africa; Copenhagen, Denmark; Edinburgh, Scotland; Frankfurt, Germany; Johannesburg, South Africa; London, United Kingdom; New Delhi, India; New York City,United States of America; Oslo, Norway; Stockholm, Sweden; Vancouver, Canada; Washington, D.C., United States of America.
 
The Alliance is also asking people to sign this petition: https://www.allout.org/en/actions/standwith?
nigeria?lgbt, as well as use social media to send out messages of support using
#IStandWith9jaLGBT.
 
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