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Nigeria: Anti-gay bill dead?

Sat 31 Mar 2007 In: International News

The impending elections in the African state of Nigeria could mean that a draconian law banning gay lifestyles may not become law. The federal polls are due to be held on 21st April. Nigerians will vote for a new President and elect both houses of the National Assembly. The Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill was debated on the 22nd March but as the Assembly is now out of session, it is hoped the bill will die. The proposed new law called for imprisonment for any person who “goes through the ceremony of marriage with a person of the same sex”, anyone who helps them and any gay clubs or organisations. Gay Christian group Changing Attitude Nigeria is cautious about declaring the legislation dead. "What we are hearing from CAN members in Anglican congregations in Nigeria is that the church leaders have been feeling big pressure on them and some are very angry because they expected the bill to be voted on prior to the end of this session. “There are also rumours that money has exchanged hands, American money, and yet it has not proved easy for the Anglican Church leaders to push the bill through the House of Representatives. "Corruption remains widespread at every level of Nigerian society," Changing Attitude in Nigeria said in a statement. While a new Nigerian parliament could revive the bill, they will have a string of election manifesto promises that will take priority in the new legislative session. Davis Mac-Iyalla, Director of Changing Attitude Nigeria, said the group was quietly confident.     Ref: (m)

Credit: News Staff

First published: Saturday, 31st March 2007 - 12:00pm

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