Law & Policy

Nigeria’s Senate Votes to Criminalize Gay Marriage, Shuns David Cameron’s Threat to Cut Off Aid

Nigeria’s Senate voted today to criminalize gay marriage, gay advocacy groups and same-sex public displays of affection. Groups and persons in the aforementioned groups/persons who are caught  will be arrested and where the charges can be proved, convicted and imprisoned for fourteen (14) years. Nigeria already has criminal laws on the books for persons who engage in same-sex sexual activities/sodomy. Such persons if caught and convicted also face a 14year imprisonment term.

My thoughts are that it makes no sense to criminalize homosexuals’ sexual activities. I believe a nation and society can say, we do not approve, agree or sanction gay marriage or sexual acts between same sex persons. But, I disagree that it translates or should translate into criminal sanctions and imprisonment. Also, prison means these persons would be thrown into a secluded all male or female population where they could be attracted to another male/female while incarcerated and have sex. So, how exactly does rehabilitation occur, which should arguably be the ultimate goal of the criminal justice system?

Finally, British Prime Minister David Cameron has threatened that African countries like Nigeria and Ghana must clean up their legislation against homosexuals to continue to receive aid from the UK. There has been an outcry from these countries and their citizens. Nigeria’s Senate ban essentially says, “David Cameron you and your aid can go to hell.”

Your thoughts on these issues? Should the Senate criminalize gay marriage, gay advocacy groups and gay public displays of affection?

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