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World Spotlight: Nigeria

Photo via Flickr user Frank Farm

For the past years, the LGBT community has been striving to reach more and more of their rights, which include gay marriage (which they have accomplished in some states). More and more people are becoming accepting and understanding, but there are still places, countries, and states that aren’t on board. One of those places is Nigeria.

Liam Stack, author of the article in the New York Times, Dozens Reportedly Arrested in Nigeria Amid Antigay Crackdown, mentions that “homosexual sex is illegal in Nigeria, where in some states ruled by Islamic Law gay people can be legally stoned to death”. So what are people doing about this? Well, nothing.

In fact they are doing the complete opposite, “the government has decided to crackdown on gay Nigerians both harshly and in secret, arresting dozens of suspected gay men in the country’s north and signing into law a sweeping measure that punishes gay marriage and even the formation of gay associations or clubs with as many as 14 years in prison”, says Stack. The country has put into effect a new strict antigay law called the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which The Associated Press said its passage had been “shrouded in secrecy”. The law was signed and dated by President Goodluck Jonathan on January 7, 2014.

The police were reported to be arresting gay men and torturing them into naming other gay people in the state of Bauchi. Dorothy Aken’Ova, the executive director of Nigeria’s International Center for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights “accused the police in the of entrapping gay men and then holding out the empty promise of release from prison to extort money from their family and friends. ‘Even after having extorted them, they have not released the people’, she says”.

The efforts for LGBT rights are still continuing. It is important for people all around the world to be aware of all the terrible things that happen to the LGBT community. We have to learn to be more accepting. It should be a human right to live and express yourself the way you want to, without being at risk of being shot, murdered, or tortured.

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