Kaleidoscope Trust urges Nigeria’s president to veto anti-gay law

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

LGBT rights charity the Kaleidoscope Trust is calling on Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to veto a bill to further criminalise same-sex marriages in Nigeria with potential prison terms of up to 14 years.

Nigeria’s House of Representatives approved the bill, which also bans LGBT organisations from working in the country, on Thursday.

The so-called ‘Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill’ requires the signature of President Goodluck Jonathan to become law.

Kaleidoscope Trust director of faith and social development, Rev. Ijeoma Ajibade, said: ‘This legislation denies LGBT Nigerians their fundamental rights. By claiming it is about outlawing same-sex marriage, the Parliament is deliberately misleading people. Not a single group in my home country has asked for gay marriage. They ask only for the same rights to freedom from discrimination, personal liberty, human dignity and privacy that all Nigerians are entitled to under the constitution.

“Nigeria confronts serious issues of national security, corruption and poor governance that Parliament should be tackling rather than launching attacks on sections of its own people.”

Bisi Alimi, a Nigerian LGBT activist and one of the founders of the Kaleidoscope Trust, called on the international community to protest to President Jonathan. “If this bill is signed into law Nigeria will be the first country in recent history to increase the penalties for LGBT people in this way. It will only encourage those in countries like Uganda and Sierra Leone who want to do the same,” he said.