Nigerian Embassy in Berlin Reacts to Condemnation of Anti-Gay Bill, Defends Senate Vote

Published: December 12, 2011

The Nigerian Embassy in Germany has responded to the international reaction to the passage of the same sex marriage prohibition by the Nigerian Senate with a statement on its website.

The embassy, which defended the Nigerian senate’s vote on the issue, said, “The debate on this issue, within and outside Nigeria, becomes an unnecessary distraction from the pressing need by the Nigerian government to deliver the dividends of democracy to its people through the provision of educational opportunities, healthcare, employment, basic infrastructure and access to justice.”

The embassy added, “The government and people of Nigeria recognize the rights of individuals to live their lives as they please. The Nigerian state also has inalienable obligation to uphold public morality within the context of indigenous culture and traditions, which, in this case, may not necessarily be in tandem with those cultures and traditions Nigeria does not wish to challenge or even condemns.”

However, the statement issued on December 8 added, “Nigeria as a nation and a people, have rich culture, norms, traditions which forbid same sex marriage and or any form of sexual relations between same sex, and are prepared to maintain this age-long cultural heritage.”

Contradicting the previous statement the embassy also said, “Nigeria is an independent and responsible member of the international community, which recognizes and respects the inalienable rights of every individual within its jurisdiction to basic freedoms.”

The statement said, “The embassy, therefore, wishes to appeal for understanding on this matter, which it considers an internal affair of Nigeria and the Nigerian people.”

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