Same Sex Marriage in Nigeria – Everything You Must Know

Same-sex marriage is a classic example of what Africans considers a ‘taboo.’ But while some of the African countries are still thinking about being somewhat tolerant to gays, Nigeria has made a rigid stand—gays will not be welcomed with a hug. As we speak, every Nigerian has to choose between being straight or serving a jail term of 14 years. That said, choose wisely.

Not long ago, the French President, gave the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community an “okay” to carry on with their business. This made France the 14th country that’s in full support of gay rights. Well, they might have genuinely realised that gays actually need a country that respects their sexual orientation, but on the flip side; political reasons might have influenced such a decision.

Back to Nigeria; while the entire world was still thinking that Nigeria would at least pluck a page from France, and let gays enjoy their supposedly gay rights, Nigerians were busy figuring out how they could make the lives of Nigerian gays a living hell.

On May 30, 2013, the House of Representatives in Nigeria passed a bill that was supposed to make same-sex marriage in Nigeria, or any display thereof, a crime. A list of offenders, encompassing everyone who supports or bears witness to such a union, will be subjected to a 14-year imprisonment. Without a hyperbole, that’s how harsh Nigerians are against anyone who supports gay marriages.

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What’s even more surprising is that; every Nigerian was in full support of this bill. In fact, many were seen breathing a sigh of relief when the bill passed. While addressing the issue in a certain forum, the then Senate President, David Mark was quick to point out that there was a lot of pressure from different countries—like the US and the UK—that wanted Nigerians not to pass the proposed gay law. And whenever there were delays in passing the bill, Nigerians grew more apprehensive after fearing that the bill could be somehow compromised by the legislators to favour gays.

Same Sex Marriage 1

At a time when France was actually directing the path and South Africans were getting swept away by the ‘wind of change,’ what was influencing the decision that Nigerians were making?

Well, according to most Nigerians; all countries that were in support of gay rights were somehow being unreasonable by failing to understand what the basic logic records as an immoral act. Secondly, Nigerians were infuriated by the kind of madness that was racing down the world, with politicians being forced to compromise on what was morally right just to flatter gay voters. They were afraid that the avalanche might overpower them if they didn’t take immediate action. And so they did…

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For those who have been following the succession of gay proceedings in Nigeria in the recent past, the decision to enact this law discouraging gay marriage in Nigeria did not come as a surprise. Homosexuality has always been extremely distasteful in Nigeria, and unequivocally; they wanted it to remain so. And while some gay lawyers were busy taking advantage of every loophole to prove that the new bill was redundantly duplicating the existing laws that only allowed marriages between a woman and a man, and was, therefore, unnecessary, legislators were nipping out every section of the existing law that was showing leniency to gay acts.

And now that this bill is already a law in Nigeria, most people from first world or western countries are thinking that Africans are actually barbaric. Predictably, there will be all sorts of rumours justifying how some people from Africa were actually burnt at the stake for not being straight. The world that apparently seems to have buried its morals, and could even be supporting man to animal marriages if animals had voters’ cards, sees Africa as the continent that chose to be insensitive to people’s rights.

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We are living in an era when every nation is entitled to making its own decisions. After all, every country is hitherto independent, and would not hesitate to protect itself from external agents who think they have the power to impose what they think is right for a nation they have no power over. Homosexuality has always been an aberration in Africa, and if Nigerians took the courage to show the rest of Africa that we are not supposed to compromise what’s right to please first world countries, well and good; no one should judge them.


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