activists are demanding that a proposed law, which would
criminalize gay relationships as well as those who "aid
and abet" them, be rescinded.
The group went to the
national assembly on Wednesday to voice their disdain over the
sweeping bill, which seeks to punish anyone who undergoes,
"performs, witnesses, aids, or abets" a same-sex
marriage ceremony with five years in prison, and would further
define as a same-sex marriage any two gay people who
live together, making them subject to three years in
"I did not choose
to be gay. It is trial enough to live in this country; we
should not create more laws to make us suffer," Rashidi
Williams, of the Queer Alliance of Nigeria, said to the
The law would also give
police more authority to arrest suspects and investigate those
who work for human rights groups that deal with gay issues.
gay sex is banned in Nigeria.
Supporters of the bill,
including many religious leaders, also appeared at the assembly
on Wednesday to counter the gay rights activists. They
brought a group of children wearing T-shirts reading
"Same-sex marriage is unnatural and un-African" and
"Same-sex marriage is an abomination."