Seven Nigerian gays yesterday in New York, United States, protested the passage of a bill by the Senate banning same-sex marriage.
They gathered in front of the Nigeria House to express their displeasure over the bill which will not become law until its passage by the House of Representatives and assented by President Goodluck Jonathan.
If it becomes law as passed by the senate, offenders will get up to 14-year jail sentence. One of the organisers of the event, Ifeanyi Orazulike, presented a petition with 57,000 signatures to the Nigerian Consulate. The petition addressed to the President reads:
“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).”