[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 19 January 2006, 09:33 GMT
Nigeria to outlaw same-sex unions
Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria
Archbishop Akinola strongly opposes same-sex unions
Nigeria's government is planning a specific ban on same-sex marriages, with five years in jail for anyone who has a gay wedding or officiates at one.

Information Minister Frank Nweke told the BBC the government was taking the "pre-emptive step" because of developments elsewhere in the world.

"In most cultures in Nigeria, same-sex relationships, sodomy and the likes of that, is regarded as abominable."

Homosexual sex is already illegal and in the north offenders can be stoned.

Justice Minister Bayo Ojo said the law would also ban "any form of protest to press for rights or recognition" by homosexuals, the AFP news agency reports.

'Unnatural and un-African'

Archbishop Peter Akinola, the head of Nigeria's Anglican Church, has been a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage and allowing openly gay men to be priests.

President Olusegun Obasanjo has publicly supported the country's Anglican leadership's stance on homosexuality.

"Such a tendency is clearly un-Biblical, unnatural and definitely un-African," he told a conference of Nigerian bishops in October 2004.

Nigeria - the most populous country in Africa - is divided between the predominantly Muslim north and the largely Christian south.

Five northern states are governed by Islamic Sharia law and mandate death by stoning for adultery, including gay sex.

Nigerian blogger tackles taboos
05 Jul 05 |  Technology

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific