Brigham Young University Journal of Public Law


Stephen L. West


The Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act recently enacted by Nigeria criminalizes marriage or civil union between persons of the same sex; solemnization of same sex marriage or civil union or witnessing, aiding or abetting the same; registration, operation, membership or support of gay clubs; pub lic show of same sex amorous relationship and related matters. Each of these offences attracts a long term of imprisonment. The Act was enacted in bold defiance of threats of economic and political sanctions by the Western powers against any developing cou ntry that enacts anti - gay legislation. This paper analyzes the Act against the backdrop of the extant laws operative in Nigeria as well as the underlying mores of the Nigerian society in contrast to Western idiosyncrasies. It concludes that the enactment i s consistent with Nigerian culture, religious beliefs and pre - existing laws, whereas the human rights spin that the Western world recently puts on homosexual orientation, on which footing the enactment is attacked, is rooted in neither natural law nor cust omary international law.


© 2018 BYU J. Reuben Clark Law School