Support for homosexual rights increases in Nigeria

By Ayoola Mudasiru June 30, 2015 18:15

Support for homosexual rights increases in Nigeria

NOIPolls, on Tuesday, revealed that Nigerian support for the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Law signed by Former President Goodluck Jonathan in January 2014 has reduced by 5%.

A NOIPolls survey conducted in partnership with The Initiative for Equal Rights, TIERs, and the Bisi Alimi Foundation to measure the perception of Nigerians towards the Lesbian, Gay and Bi-sexual, LGB, community revealed that 87% of Nigerian adults support Anti-Same Sex Marriage law as opposed to a 2013 survey where the figure was 92%.

Other findings from the polls showed that despite the fact 81% “do NOT believe homosexuals should have the same rights as other Nigerians,” some 30% of Nigerians still “agree that homosexuals should be given equal rights to access public services such as healthcare, housing and education.”

15% however believe homosexuals should have equal rights as other Nigerians.

The results also shows that 9 out of 10 Nigerians, 90%, do not believe that people are born as homosexuals, opining that being “gay is a quality that is acquired through life’s experiences.”

Similarly, 87% of those interviewed stated that they would not be willing to accept a family member that is homosexual; although 11% showed willingness to accept a gay family member.

Further analysis revealed that a larger proportion of adult females (13%) are more willing to accept a homosexual family member than adult males (10%).

This new result is coming on the heels of the recent legalisation of “Same-Sex Marriage” by The U.S. Supreme Court.

See: US Supreme Court rules in favour of same-sex marriage nationwide

Nigeria passed a Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act late 2013, and the Bill was signed by the Former President Goodluck Jonathan in January 2014 amidst cheers from Nigeria and criticism from the international community.

The Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act makes same-sex unions in Nigeria a criminal offence punishable by a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment.

The Act also cites punishment for any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organizations directly or indirectly is liable to a term of 10 years imprisonment.

The Act has been challenged in the Federal High Court on its constitutionality, but it was struck out by Justice Kafarati in October 2014, on the grounds that the plaintiff lacked the requisite locus standi to sue on behalf of other Nigerians.

In addition, the court argued that the plaintiff did not provide sufficient materials to show he had suffered or was about to suffer from the implementation of the Act.

There have also been claims by groups such as Queer Alliance, which stated that between January and December 2014, the Lesbian, Gay and Bi-sexual, LGB, community recorded 105 cases of human right violations on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

NOIPolls Limited provides country specific polling services in West Africa and conducts periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria.