Even in Nigeria, support for gay rights is growing

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A poll has found that support for Nigeria’s anti-gay law has fallen slightly – though it continues to have overwhelming public support.

Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Nigeria, and can be punished by 14 years in prison or death by stoning, varying by region.

There is a strong social taboo on homosexuality in the country, and in January last year it passed a law further criminalising gay people by punishing those who try to enter same-sex relationships.

A new poll conducted by NOIPolls in partnership with The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs) and the Bisi Alimi found that 87 percent of Nigerians support the law.

Despite an increase in ‘strong’ support for the law, it marks an overall decrease of nine percentage points from five years ago, when 96 percent of people supported the proposed law, and 2013, when 92 percent backed it.
Even in Nigeria, support for gay rights is growing

In a surprising show of support, 30 percent of Nigerians agree that gay people should “be given equal rights to access public services” including healthcare, housing and education.

However, 9 out of 10 Nigerians believe that people are not born gay – suggesting they subscribe the belief that it is a “choice” to be gay. Just 11 percent said they would accept a gay family member.

Even in Nigeria, support for gay rights is growing

The rare poll on LGBT issues in the country was conducted over a randomly selected sample of 1000 people.

NOIPolls told News24: “With a sample of this size, we can say with 95 percent confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise – within a range of plus or minus 3 percent.”