European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

European Parliament calls on Nigeria to respect human rights for LGBT people

Yesterday the European Parliament adopted a resolution on human rights violations in Nigeria and amongst other things called on Nigeria not to adopt the bill currently being debated.

The bill is entitled the 'Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act' and it would impose a five-year prison sentence on anyone who 'performs, witnesses, aids or abets the ceremony of same sex marriage', but also on anyone involved publicly or privately in positive representation of or advocacy for same sex relationships.

The European Parliament was presented with different drafts of this Resolution prepared by various political groups in the Parliament, but the version prepared by the Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats (EPP-DE) was adopted. This is the ‘weakest’ version in terms of the denial of human rights to LGBT people in Nigeria, which is causing serious concern amongst human rights defenders worldwide.

Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said:

“We welcome the European Parliament’s stance on human rights violations in Nigeria. At the same time we believe a more targeted resolution on the specific situation of LGBT human rights defenders would have sent a stronger message to Nigeria. We fear that the current outrageous bill outlawing any activities representing and protecting the human rights of LGBT people in Nigeria is not prominently dealt with by the Parliament and this issue might loose its momentum by being shelved together with other ongoing human rights concerns in Nigeria.”

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Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 2 609 54 16 / + 32 496 708 375

Notes for editors:

(1) ILGA-Europe is the European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association and works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Europe.

(2) The text of the EPP-DE draft resolution which was adopted by the European Parliament is available at: www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B6-2007-010...