US vows to push Nigeria to outlaw anti-gay discrimination

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America will continue to put pressure on countries like Nigeria which have anti-LGBT legislation in place.

The US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield stated that America will continue to pressurise Nigeria.

She made this known in a live-web chat with journalists in Washington.

Thomas-Greenfield, who said the US had adopted the protection of the rights of same-sex people as a part of its foreign policies, has vowed that Washington will continue to put pressure on Nigeria and other countries to change their laws against the LGBT community.

She said: “As a government, it is one of the highest priorities and strongest values that discrimination against anyone based on their sexual orientation and gender identity is wrong. We believe human rights should be available to everybody.”

“As a policy, we will continue to press the government of Nigeria as well as other governments who have provided legislation that discriminate against the LGBT community.” She continued.

Thomas-Greenfield has also said that she does not agree that pressuring Nigeria to reverse the anti-gay law has amounted to interference. She also said that Nigeria and Uganda had the hardest legislation on the gay community.

She said: “This is very much a work in progress, but I think you will agree with me that the law in Nigeria really went far in discriminating against this community but also people who associate with them.”

“So we will continue to press the government, to press the legislature to change these laws and provide human rights for all Nigerian people regardless of their sexual orientation.” Thomas-Greenfield stated.

She said that she was optimistic that the US would win the fight to protect the LGBT community.

“With what is happening in the US, you can determine how far we are willing to go. We strongly believe human rights for all people and we are particularly opposed to legislation that actually targets the gay community for discrimination. So we are prepared to push this as a policy not just in Africa but across the world.” She added.

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to be visiting the US in a few weeks time.