Same-sex Marriage ban in Nigeria "may fuel prejudice and violence"Listen /
A ban on same-sex marriages in Nigeria may lead to "prejudice and violence" the UN Secretary-General is warning.
The Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act which was recently signed into Nigerian law introduces a wide range of offences which are in breach of fundamental human rights.
They include 14-year jail terms for same-sex couples who live together or attempt to celebrate their union with a ceremony.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson is Martin Nesirky.
"The Secretary-General fears that the law may fuel prejudice and violence, and notes with alarm reports that police in northern Nigeria have arrested individuals believed by the authorities to be homosexuals, and may even have tortured them. As UNAIDS and the Global Fund noted in a statement yesterday, the law also risks obstructing effective responses to HIV/AIDS."
The Secretary-General reiterated that everyone is entitled to enjoy the same basic rights and "live a life of worth and dignity without discrimination."
He said he strongly hopes that the constitutionality of the law can be reviewed, adding that the United Nations stands ready to assist Nigeria to bring about constructive dialogue and change regarding the issue.
Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.