While more countries are striking down anti-gay laws and making new ones to enable and protect gay marriage, many countries in Africa are moving in the backward direction of strengthening the already present anti-gay laws, countries like Nigeria. It’s not enough that being gay is already illegal, the law-makers are pushing forward a bill that seeks to further criminalize it with prison sentences of up to 14 years for LGBT and allies. On Thursday 30th May, the House of Representatives passed the bill, meaning that it goes to the President Goodluck Jonathan for approval. Should he do so, I fear for what will happen to gay men and women in Nigeria. Already gay-bashing is rampant and people have lost their jobs on the basis of perceived (not proven) homosexuality. The country is already strongly divided in so many ways – religion and tribe to name a few ways that should not be important in 2013 especially in a developing nation. It is sad the legislators are more interested in driving the country further apart than in pushing for its togetherness and continued development. Interestingly enough, people keep saying that there is no way the President will pass such a bill but that was also the general consensus when it moved to the House of Representatives for consideration. I hope this ridiculous piece of legislature and supreme waste of tax-payers’ money doesn’t move any further than it has already done. However I won’t be holding my breath.
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