Homosexual Lobby Mounts Pressure On Jonathan

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A gay lobby in the United States,
All Out, has started a global campaign to collect 100,000 signatures of
sympathisers to mount pressure on Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan not to
sign the impending law against homosexuals.
As
at saturday evening, the group has collected close to 70,000 signatures. But
how these efforts will persuade President Jonathan not to sign the bill into
law, remains to be seen.
he group claims to be working with partner organisations in
Nigeria, such as Changing Attitude Nigeria, Improve Your Health Initiative,
Initiative for Advancement of Humanity, International Centre for Advocacy on
Right to Health, Sexual Minorities Against AIDS in Nigeria, the Initiative for
Equal Rights, Nigerian LGBTI’s in the Diaspora against Anti-Same Sex Laws.

The anti-gay bill, was first passed
by the Senate on 29 November 2011.

The bill criminalises gay marriage
and any same-sex “amorous relationship”, a major step in putting in place a law
that has drawn widespread criticism in Western countries.
The Senate increased the punishment
for gay marriage from the five years’ imprisonment originally proposed in the
draft bill, to 14 years. The legislation must be passed by the House of
Representatives and signed by President Goodluck Jonathan before it becomes
law.
“Persons who entered into a
same-sex marriage contract, or civil union commit an offence and are each
liable on conviction to a term of 14 years in prison,” the bill says.
“Any person who registers, operates
or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations or directly or
indirectly makes 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 passed through the second
reading at the House of Representatives last week, unanimously, drawing
worldwide outrage by gay sympathisers.
A top US human rights official said
he has not discussed with Nigerian politicians an anti-gay bill poised to pass
Parliament.
Michael H. Posner, the Assistant of
State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, declined to comment directly on
the pending legislation during a press conference at the US consulate in Lagos.
But, he says human rights issues
must be addressed within societies and “it is very difficult, if not
impossible, for (foreign) governments to force that change”.

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