Nigeria bans same-sex marriages with 14-year prison term

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A bill to further criminalise same-sex marriages in Nigeria with prison terms of up to 14 years has been passed by lawmakers in the country’s Parliament.

Same-sex relationships are already illegal in Nigeria and the new law means gay couples entering into either marriage or cohabitation could face 14 years each in prison.

Those “witnessing” or “abetting” such relationships would also face custodial sentences of at least eight years, and groups that advocate for LGBT rights are also set to be penalised by the new bill.

Nigeria’s House of Representatives approved the bill on Thursday.

It passed its second reading in the Nigerian House last November.

However, it remains unclear if President Goodluck Jonathan will sign the bill into law.

Nigeria’s Senate previously passed the bill in November 2011 and the measure quietly disappeared for some time before coming up in Thursday’s session of the House.