High profile LGBT activist Bisi Alimi and his husband have just become the first gay couple interviewed on Nigerian television. Alimi has actively campaigned for LGBTI rights since bravely coming out on Nigerian TV about 14 years ago. Coming out cost Alimi his acting job on a Nigerian soap opera. His parents also kicked him out of home. But Alimi would go on to set up the Bisi Alimi Foundation to help LGBTI people. Normally not shy of publicity, Alimi deliberated for a while with his husband Anthony Davis about doing the interview. But they both decided to appear on The Report Card. Comedian Hero Daniels hosts the satirical news show.
The constitution and law prohibit discrimination based on community, place of origin, ethnic group, sex, religion, or political opinion, but the government did not enforce the law effectively. The constitution prohibits discrimination based on the circumstances of a person’s birth, but it does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based... Expand
The constitution and law prohibit discrimination based on community, place of origin, ethnic group, sex, religion, or political opinion, but the government did not enforce the law effectively. The constitution prohibits discrimination based on the circumstances of a person’s birth, but it does not explicitly prohibit discrimination based on disability.
On January 7, President Jonathan enacted the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act (SSMPA), which effectively renders illegal all forms of activity supporting or promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights. Under the SSMPA anyone found to have entered into a same-sex marriage or civil union may be punished by up to 14 years’ imprisonment. In addition anyone found guilty of being an individual who “aids the solemnization of a same-sex marriage or civil union, or supports the registration, operation, and sustenance of gay clubs, societies, organizations, processions, or meetings” or “registers, operates, or participates in gay clubs, societies, organizations, or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship” commits an offense punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment.
Following the passage of the SSMPA, LGBT persons reported increased harassment and threats against them based on their perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. News reports and LGBT advocates reported numerous arrests, but detainees were in all cases released without formal charges after paying a bond. As of December there were no reports of the government enforcing the SSMPA.
Consensual same-sex sexual activity is also illegal under federal law and is punishable by prison sentences of up to 14 years. In the 12 northern states that adopted sharia, adults convicted of engaging in same-sex sexual activity may be subject to execution by stoning. Although no such sentences were imposed during the year, individuals convicted of same-sex activity were sentenced to lashing.
On February 12, a mob in the Gishiri community of Abuja attacked 13 gay men and drove them out of their homes with sticks and knives. The mob took four of the men to a local police station where police also beat them. The four men were released the following day. Despite requests from advocacy groups, police neither investigated the incident nor apprehended any of the attackers. The men were unable to return to their homes
Because of widespread societal taboos against same-sex activity, very few LGBT persons were open about their sexual orientation. Several NGOs provided LGBT groups with legal advice and training in advocacy, media responsibility, and HIV/AIDS awareness, as well as providing safe havens for LGBT individuals. The government and its agents did not impede the work of these groups during the year.
Source: U.S. Department of State's  Human Rights Report
The Nigerian Police Force is in the news for arresting 57 alleged homosexual men in Lagos. The news has not caught the attention of foremost LGBT rights activist Bisi Alimi. He has made his feelings known about the arrest on his Facebook page. His tone was definitely of rebuke and distaste at the actions of the Nigerian Police Force, backed up by terrible claims as, “Gay initiation party.”
The Lagos State Police Command on Monday said it had arrested 57 persons suspected to be involved in homosexual activities in the Egbeda area of the state. The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, CP Edgal Imohimi, confirmed the arrest to newsmen during a news conference. He said that the suspects were picked up on Sunday at 2 a.m. while they were performing gay-initiation for newly recruited members. The CP said that investigation into the case was ongoing and the suspects would be charged to court soon. However, some of the suspects who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the press conference, denied the allegations.
Presidential Aspirant Vows to Protect Gay Nigerians, but Doesn't Want Them to Display Love in Public
Aspirant for the 2019 presidential election, Donald Duke, says even though he would protect homosexual people, he is not comfortable with the idea of them showing love in public. The former Cross River State governor said this during his interview on "On The Couch" anchored by entertainer, Folarin Falana, aka Falz, and journalist, Laila Johnson-Salami. Even though he was not specifically asked about homosexuality in Nigeria, Duke offered to express his thoughts on the country's stance on it. According to him, he doesn't understand homosexuality, but he would offer protection to gay people and not criminalise them. However, he said he is uncomfortable with public display of affection by homosexual people and would be against such in the country.
An eight-part podcast series looking into the experiences of “queer Africans living, loving, thriving and surviving on the continent and in the diaspora” recently hit the virtual world. Titled AfroQueer, the weekly series covers topics such as law, migration, film, race, censorship, family and sex. The series is put together by an African queer-focused digital media organization None on Record. Selly Thiam, the series’ executive producer, explains why a podcast was the chosen medium. “We wanted to tell more stories and didn’t really want to do it through video, which can be really time-consuming. And because a lot of us [at None on Record] consume a lot of podcasts, it was kind of just an organic idea to do [it] this way.” Aida Holly-Nambi, None on Records’ arts and culture director, is one of the series’ producers and reporters. “The beauty of podcasts is that, when it comes to consuming queer African stories, there is a safety in being able to listen privately through your headphones without people knowing what you’re listening to. So, for those of us [who are in places] where safety is a concern.”
Udoka Nweke arrived in the United States in late 2016 seeking asylum, telling authorities that as an openly gay man in his homeland of Nigeria he could be punished with a long prison term or, in some parts of the country, death. Instead, Nweke found himself in the federal Adelanto Detention Center in San Bernardino County, his mental health deteriorating. On Friday, some 15 months into his detention, Nweke’s plight prompted advocates for LGBT people and immigrants to gather outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Santa Ana and call for his release. “All he has seen of the U.S. since his arrival… is a jail cell,” said Ola Osaze of the Transgender Law Center, based in Oakland. The LGBT Center OC, along with other groups, called attention to the case on the first day of LGBT Pride month.
Gay rights activists from Commonwealth countries are demanding that laws banning homosexuality should be overturned. Campaigner Peter Tatchell has said people face violence and imprisonment just because they are gay. The British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, promised the Olympic diver Tom Daley that he would raise the issue at the Commonwealth summit. So, where is homosexuality still outlawed? There are 53 countries in the Commonwealth and most of them are former British colonies. Out of those, 37 have laws that criminalise homosexuality.
Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday urged all members of the Commonwealth of Nations that had made what she called outdated legislations against same-sex marriage to have a rethink. May said this in London while addressing leaders at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan had in 2014 signed a bill outlawing gay relationships and same-sex marriage, putting the legislation to use months after it was passed by the National Assembly. Under the law, anyone convicted for getting involved in gay relationship or entering into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union faces up to 14 years in jail.
A new website launched by the Women’s Rights and Health [WHER] Initiative, a Nigerian civil society not-for-profit organization, allows people report any type of human rights violations in Nigeria. Akudo Oguaghamba, executive director of WHER, described the site in an interview with the LGBTIQ rights advocacy site NoStringNG. The new site, she said, will make it easy for anyone, regardless of who they are, to report human rights violations from any part of the country.
100,000 people have signed a petition calling on Commonwealth countries to roll back their anti-gay laws. More than one billion people live in Commonwealth countries with colonial-era gay sex laws. Many Commonwealth countries continue to enforce penal codes that were first introduced under the British Empire, and never repealed. They include 10 years imprisonment and hard labour in Jamaica, 14 years in Kenya, 20 years plus flogging in Malaysia, and 25 years in Trinidad and Tobago. Homosexuality is punishable by death in member states Brunei and the northern part of Nigeria. Edwin Sesange, who launched the petition said: “The demand for equality is no longer an issue for the minority but for the majority."
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