Briefing on the Nigerian Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2013

This briefing note examines how Nigeria's Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act contravenes the Constitution of Nigeria, international obligations and acts to hinder the effectiveness of measures to contain the HIV epidemic.

In this briefing note, the Human Dignity Trust sets out the implications of the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, 2013 (SSMPA), assented by the President of Nigeria in January 2014, for LGBT people.

The Trust points out that unmarried same-sex couples face criminalisation under the new law. Anything amounting to mere indirect public demonstration of a ‘same sex amorous relationship’ is now criminalised.

The Trust denounces the chilling effect on civil society supporting LGBT rights, including those providing healthcare services against HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

Finally, the Trust records the reactions of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UNAIDS to the new criminalising law.