From July 14, 2011, Sharon Slater of Family Watch International, and recent speaker at the annual convention of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), told delegates at a Nigerian law conference that same-sex marriage in the United States was a threat to religious and family freedoms.
On July 25, a bill was tabled in the Nigerian legislature to criminalize same-sex unions. The bill forbids any marriage contracts civil or religious between members of the same sex. It even removes the freedom to conduct such ceremonies in a church if such unions were permitted within the theology of that church. Here are the penalties:
According to an AP article out today, the bill has now gone through two readings and has had public hearings.
This bill is a watered down version of a prior bill which would have imposed more restrictions (see BTB for an earlier article on this bill). Thus, I am not suggesting that Slater concocted the bill or the effort. However, when she spoke to the Nigerian audience, she certainly did nothing to discourage the restriction of personal freedoms and added fuel to the fire already burning.
She and her organization have taken the position that they oppose laws which execute gays but she supports nations who want to make or maintain other laws which criminalize homosexuality.
In essence, this bill criminalizes any same-sex union. Here is the definition of same-sex marriage:
The clause “or for other purposes of same sexual relationship” is so broad that any coupling or any duration could be in view.