Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, passed a bill that would criminalize gay marriage, same sex public displays of affection, and gay advocacy groups. The bill was passed by Nigeria’s senate and President Jonathan Goodluck  is set to sign it into law shortly.

Nigeria, which has suffered through religious conflicts, came together to pass this anti-gay law that includes stiff penalties for those caught violating the law.

The Associate Press reports:

Under the proposed law, couples who marry could face up to 14 years each in prison. Witnesses or anyone who helps couples marry could be sentenced to 10 years behind bars. That’s an increase over the bill’s initial penalties, which lawmakers proposed during a debate Tuesday televised live from the National Assembly in Nigeria’s capital Abuja.

Other additions to the bill include making it illegal to register gay clubs or organizations, as well as criminalizing the “public show of same-sex amorous relationships directly or indirectly.” Those who violate those laws would face 10-year imprisonment as well.

Nigeria isn’t the only country to pass such laws. Uganda passed harsh anti-gay laws that threatened to make homosexuality punishable by death, and many other countries including Jamaica, Barbados, Kuwait, and Malaysia also have tough laws governing homosexual relationships, especially among men.

What do you think of Nigeria’s new anti-gay law? Should they be policing sexuality when other issues, like religious conflict, are threatening to undermine the country?

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