Marriage of persons of the same sex, once regarded as taboo both in the western developed nations and in the developing nations, has gradually become a norm accepted in most societies. Most countries with laws antagonistic to same-sex union have repealed them; and decriminalisation of homosexuality is on the rise. In the international community, recognition has been given to homosexual persons, so that their right to non-discrimination has become entrenched alongside other major rights.
Nigeria seems to be plying the opposite direction; its law on same-sex union has become stricter with the passage into law of the 2013 Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act – an Act which has generated a lot of controversy both within and without the Nigerian polity.
The focus of this project is the examination of the Act in the backdrop of the phenomenon of same-sex unions in different jurisdictions. Particular attention will be devoted to examining the human rights implications of the prohibition of same sex relations in the light of the Human rights provisions of the Nigerian Constitution as well as regional and international conventions on human rights to which Nigeria is a party.
The project will, by way of recommendation, propose the repeal of the Act; or in the alternative, a radical overhaul of the scope and punishment under the Act, so that Nigeria’s obligations in the international community is not violated.