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Nigerian President Signs Ban On Same-Sex Relationships; Kerry Condemns Law, Says U.S. ‘Deeply Concerned’

News outlets report on the Nigerian president’s signing of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which bans same-sex relationships and could impact HIV/AIDS prevention and education activities in the country.

New York Times: Nigerian President Signs Ban on Same-Sex Relationships
“A tough ban on same-sex relationships that threatens violators with 14-year prison terms has been quietly signed into law by the president of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, a step that rights advocates have long feared not only as a repression aimed at gays but as an affront to basic freedoms of speech and assembly. … Nigerian gay-rights advocates said the law also elevated the risk to people living with HIV and AIDS, because organizations that help them might also be deemed illegal…” (Gladstone, 1/13).

Reuters: Nigerian leader signs anti-gay law, drawing U.S. fire
“…The bill, which contains penalties of up to 14 years in prison and bans gay marriage, same-sex ‘amorous relationships’ and membership of gay rights groups, was passed by the national assembly last May but [Nigerian President Goodluck] Jonathan had delayed signing it into law…” (Onuah, 1/13).

Politico: John Kerry hits Nigeria gay marriage law
“Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday condemned a new law in Nigeria prohibiting same-sex marriages, calling it a ‘dangerous’ restriction on freedom. ‘The United States is deeply concerned by Nigeria’s enactment of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act,’ Kerry said in a statement released by the State Department. ‘Beyond even prohibiting same sex marriage, this law dangerously restricts freedom of assembly, association, and expression for all Nigerians’…” (DelReal, 1/13).

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