Nigeria’s House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday to criminalise gay marriage, same-sex “amorous relationships” and even membership of a gay rights group, defying pressure from Western powers to respect gay and lesbian rights.
The bill, which contains penalties of up to 14 years in prison, passed Nigeria’s Senate in late-2011 but President Goodluck Jonathan must approve it before it becomes law.
Two similar bills have been proposed since 2006 but this is the first time one has passed through the national assembly.
A spokesman for the presidency did not respond to a request for comment.
As in much of sub-Saharan Africa, anti-gay sentiment and persecution of homosexuals is rife in Nigeria, so the new legislation is likely to be popular.