Nigerian President signs law banning gay marriage and criminalizing homosexuality.

Nigeria’s New Anti-Gay Law Even Criminalizes Gay PDA

Nigeria’s New Anti-Gay Law Even Criminalizes Gay PDA

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Jan. 13 2014 6:55 PM

Nigeria’s New Anti-Gay Law Even Criminalizes Gay PDA

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A same-sex South African couple, embrace after getting married at a chapel in Cape Town.

Photo by GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has signed a bill, it was reported on Monday, criminalizing gay relationships in the country. The bill, which was passed by the Nigerian legislature in May of last year, bans same-sex marriage, but also goes farther criminalizing same-sex “amorous relationships" and membership of gay rights groups, Reuters reports. The new law will also include penalties that stretch up to 14 years in prison.

Here’s some text of the new law via the Associated Press:

"A person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies or organizations, or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria, commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a term of 10 years."
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Nigeria already had laws on the books that made sodomy a jailable offense, according to Reuters. But the new measure goes so far as to criminalize what amounts to same-sex PDA. In response to the measure's signing, Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the law on Monday. "Beyond even prohibiting same sex marriage, this law dangerously restricts freedom of assembly ... and expression for all Nigerians," Kerry said in a statement. "It is inconsistent with Nigeria's international legal obligations and undermines ... democratic reforms and human rights protections."