The Senate yesterday outlawed same-sex marriage in the country by passing into law the bill prohibiting the practice with offenders subject to 14 year jail term on conviction.
This follows the third reading of the bill for an Act to prohibit the marriage or civil union entered into between persons of the same sex and the solemnisation of same marriages.
Unanimously passing the bill into law, the Senate while invalidating the marriage entered into in the country by persons of the same-sex, also voided same-sex marriages contracted abroad in Nigeria.
Reacting to the passage of the bill, former transport minister, Chief Ebenezer Babatope congratulated the senate for doing a very good job, saying that same-sex relationship is alien to the country.
'That the bill they have passed is in accordance with the wishes of a resounding majority of the Nigerian people. It is not good for a country to get involved in such moral degeneracy as same-sex relationship.
Gay is very alien to the African culture. One should congratulate the senate for doing a great job.
Similarly, Second Republic governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, said the passage of the anti-same sex bill is proper, arguing that the Nigerian Constitution and the Nigerian laws are not secular.
'90 per cent of Nigerians are either Christians or Muslims. Remember too that the Nigerian Constitution says that Nigerians are under God,' Musa said.
The Senate, therefore, prescribed a 14-year-jail term for persons who enter into same-sex marriages, and said it is an offence to register gay clubs, societies and organisations with offenders liable to 10 years imprisonment on conviction.
Also, a 10-year-jail term awaits any person or group of persons that witness, abets and aids the solemnisation of same-sex marriage and supports the registration as well as operation of gay clubs and societies.
The senate further said the marriage entered into between persons of the same sex shall not be solemnised by any religious body and in any other place in the country.
It added that no certificate issued to persons of same-sex marriage shall be valid in the country, saying that only marriages contracted between a man and a woman either under Islamic law, customary law or the Marriage Act is valid.
The law further prohibits the public show of amorous relationship directly or indirectly and empowered state high courts to prosecute offenders.
Speaking on the importance of the legislation, Senate President David Mark described the controversy generated by the bill as unnecessary.
He said same-sex marriage is 'against our culture, traditions and beliefs.'
Senator Umaru Dahiru while presenting the report of the joint committee that handled the bill, said 'Nigeria cannot afford to sit idly by and allow our cultural heritage to be eroded by this foreign practice that is alien to our cultural values, traditional norms and religious beliefs.'
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