Sunday, December 22, 2013

Nigeria and Uganda Parliaments Pass Harsh Anti-Gay Laws; Final Approval By President/ Prime Minister Uncertain

Daily Trust reports that last week Nigeria's National Assembly gave final approval to the conference committee's version of the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill 2011.  It imposes a 14-year prison sentence on same-sex couples who enter a marriage or civil union.  Ten year prison sentences are prescribed for anyone who witnesses or aids or abets a same-sex union.  Section 2 of the bill provides:
Any person, who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations or directly or indirectly make public show of same sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison.
The bill still needs the signature of President Goodluck Jonathan to become law.  Amnesty International on Friday called on the President to reject the bill. (AFP).

Meanwhile, on Friday, Uganda's Parliament passed an anti-homosexuality law described as draconian.  The Guardian reports on some of its provisions:
British campaigner Peter Tatchell noted that the bill extends the existing penalty of life imprisonment for same-sex intercourse to all other same-sex behaviour, including the mere touching of another person with the intent to have homosexual relations.
Promoting homosexuality and aiding and abetting others to commit homosexual acts will be punishable by five to seven years jail.... "These new crimes are likely to include membership and funding of LGBT organisations, advocacy of LGBT human rights, supportive counselling of LGBT persons and the provision of condoms or safer sex advice to LGBT people.
"A person in authority – gay or heterosexual – who fails to report violators to the police within 24 hours will be sentenced to three years behind bars."
He added: "Astonishingly, the new legislation has an extra-territorial jurisdiction. It will also apply to Ugandan citizens or foreign residents of Uganda who commit these 'crimes' while abroad, in countries where such behaviour is not a criminal offence. Violators overseas will be subjected to extradition, trial and punishment in Uganda.
The Guardian adds:
[The bill] was opposed by Ugandan prime minister Amama Mbabazi, who argued that not enough MPs were present for a quorum, a challenge that might yet discourage Museveni from signing the bill into law. The threat of a withdrawal of western aid could also play into his decision.

1 comment:

John B. Chilton said...

The ball is in the president's court, but as in the U.S. a president's signature to become law. Here are the details: