U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on
Monday criticized passage of a Nigerian law which outlaws gay
“The United States is deeply
concerned by Nigeria's enactment of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition
Act,” Kerry said in a statement emailed to On Top Magazine.
A spokesman for President Goodluck
to reporters on Monday that Nigeria's president had signed the
bill into law.
“I can confirm that the president has
signed the bill into law,” Reuben Abatim said, adding that it
happened in the last two weeks.
“More than 90 percent of Nigerians
are opposed to same-sex marriage. So, the law is in line with our
cultural and religious beliefs as a people,” he added.
The law not only prohibits the state
from recognizing the relationships of gay couples, it also mandates a
14 year prison sentence for anyone who enters a same-sex marriage or
The law also prohibits the public
promotion of gay rights and outlaws gay clubs and organizations.
Violators face up to 10 years in prison.
“Beyond even prohibiting same sex
marriage, this law dangerously restricts freedom of assembly,
association and expression for all Nigerians,” Kerry said.
“Moreover, it is inconsistent with Nigeria's international legal
obligations and undermines the democratic reforms and human rights
protections enshrined in its 1999 Constitution.”
“People everywhere deserve to live in
freedom and equality. No one should face violence or discrimination
for who they are or who they love,” Kerry added.