Reps endorse 14-yr jail term for same-sex marriage:

By The Rainbow

The House of Representatives has prescribed a 14-year jail term for people found liable in cases of same-sex marriages.

This followed the endorsement of theĀ  report on a bill prohibiting same-marriage in the country on Thursday.

The 'Bill for an Act to Prohibit Marriage or Civil Union entered into Between Persons of Same Sex, Solemnisation of Same and for Other Matters Related Therewith' had earlier passed first and second readings at the House.

It was subsequently moved to the committee stage for public hearings before the report returned to the House for consideration.

Section 5(1) of the bill states that 'persons that entered into a same-gender marriage (man-man or woman-woman) or civil union contract commit an offence and are jointly liable on conviction to a term of 14 years imprisonment each.'

The bill disallows churches, mosques and 'any other place in Nigeria' from solemnising such marriages.

It defines a recognised marriage as 'only marriage contract between a man and a woman either under Islamic Law, Customary Law and Marriage as valid in Nigeria.'

The bill also prohibits the registration or participation in gay club activities in the country.

Similarly, societies and organisations that 'directly or indirectly make a public show of same-sex amorous relationship commit an offence.'

The penalty for gay club activities is 10 years imprisonment.

According to the bill, persons who preside over such marriages are equally guilty.

Section 5 (3) of the bill provides, 'Any person or group of persons that administers, witnesses, screens, shields, abets and aids the solemnisation of a same-sex marriage contract or civil union or supports the registration of gay clubs, societies and organisations, processions or meetings in Nigeria commits an offence and liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.'

Members unanimously passed the report on Thursday during a clause-by-clause consideration at the session, which was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha.