President Goodluck Jonathan
Dozens Already Arrested in Nigeria Under Antigay Law

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com January 14 2014 3:45 PM ET

Dozens of people have already been arrested in Nigeria since a law was enacted that provides for jail time those who enter into marriages or civil unions with someone of the same gender. The law also prohibits public declarations regarding LGBT issues as well as gatherings of LGBT people.

The Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act was signed into law January 7 by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Already, four men were arrested in the state of Bauchi and possibly tortured in order for them to name additional gay people. Through that arrest, authorities reportedly compiled a list of 168 gay Nigerians, 38 of whom had been arrested recently, according to the Associated Press.

An AIDS activist, who requested anonymity, told the AP the men were arrested because a rumor was spread that they rhad eceived $20 million from the United States to promote marriage equality in Nigeria.

Dorothy Aken’Ova, the executive director of Nigeria's Center for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights, has predicted that this law will set back efforts to stop the spread of HIV among LGBT people. A statement from UNAIDS also said that this plan would reverse Jonathan's campaign promise to fight HIV and AIDS in Nigeria.