Press release

Foreign Secretary expresses disappointment with anti-LGBT legislation in Nigeria

The Foreign Secretary expressed disappointment that the Nigerian Same Sex Marriage Bill has received Presidential assent.

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Speaking today, the Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

The UK is a close friend of Nigeria, but we are disappointed that President Jonathan has given his assent to a Bill which will further criminalise same sex relationships in Nigeria. The UK opposes any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

The Bill also directly infringes on fundamental rights of expression and association, which are guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution and by Nigeria’s international treaty obligations. We are concerned by the prospect this raises of further action against an already marginalised section of society.

My colleague Jeremy Wright, Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice, raised our concerns with the Nigerian Foreign Minister on 9 January, and our High Commissioner has raised the issue on a number of occasions with the President and other senior members of the Nigerian Government. We will continue to lobby at the highest levels on this issue.

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Published 15 January 2014