Quick Hit: Mass arrests in Nigeria after passage of “Jail the Gays” law

Gay-Nigerians-21

The Guardian reports that in Nigeria, where harsh new anti-gay laws are going into effect, police have begun mass arrests of gay men. The laws forbid membership in gay rights organizations and same-sex marriage. In addition to the obvious human rights concerns, those who oppose the law worry that it will endanger HIV prevention and treatment programs in Nigeria:

Dorothy Aken’Ova, executive director of the country’s International Centre for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights, said that the legislation, hailed the “Jail the Gays” law, had led to mass arrests. Police in Bauchi state, she claimed, had a list of 168 purportedly gay men, of whom 38 had been arrested.

The laws, she cautioned, will endanger medical programmes combating HIV-Aids in the gay community. Nigeria has the second-largest HIV epidemic globally with an estimated 3.4 million people living with HIV.

Responding to the spread of anti-gay legislation, Kerry said: “The United States is deeply concerned by Nigeria’s enactment of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. Beyond even prohibiting same-sex marriage, this law dangerously restricts freedom of assembly, association and expression for all Nigerians.

Similar legislation has been enacted in Cameroon, and of course, in Uganda, where American conservatives have been exporting their violent homophobia for some years. You can read the whole thing here.
Avatar ImageChloe Angyal came out of the womb opinionated.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

Read more about Chloe

Join the Conversation

Comments are closed.