The Nigerian gay community and other LGBT members in New York have announced their intentions to protest the recently passed bill that prohibits same-sex marriage in Nigeria. The bills makes it a punishable offense -of up to 14-years in prison- for anybody to go to a gay bar, to work for or be involved with LGBT organizations, or to be in an openly gay relationship. The protest is set for Monday, Dec. 5, in front of the Nigeria House in New York at 11:30 am. The following is the press release from the organizers:
While planning the protest, a gay activist, Ifeanyi Orazulike, also sent this letter to the Nigerian president:
To President Goodluck Jonathan,
My name is Ifeanyi Orazulike, and I am not illegal.
As a Nigerian citizen, and a public health advocate, I call upon you to stop the draconian, anti-human rights, anti- HIV/AIDS prevention and un-democratic legislation just passed by the national Senate.
if this bill is approved Nigeria will place itself outside the community of democratic nations, in a moment in which the country is facing serious internal and external anti-democratic threats. The implications of the bill with its recent modification would affect tireless and long years of work in the protection and promotion of human rights, HIV/AIDS prevention, and the entrenchment of democracy in our country.
As the elected guardian of the human and civil rights of ALL Nigerians, I urge you to show respect for the diversity in our great democracy, and refuse to sign this bill.
Ifeanyi Kelly Orazulike
Director, International Center for Advocacy on Right to Health (ICARH)