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January 16, 2014

“We are on the hunt for others:” Nigeria's new law criminalizing homosexuality.

Nigeria, where sodomy has been illegal for decades, just raised the stakes. This week Africa's largest nation begins enforcement of a popular law which in effect outlaws most LGBT behavior and culture. Outbreaks of violence are especially feared in northern Nigeria, a majority-Muslim region administered in part under Islamic law. See in TIME Nate Rawlings' piece, "Anti-Gay Law Takes Effect in Africa’s Most Populous Country". Excerpts:

One day after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed legislation criminalizing homosexuality, police reportedly began rounding up gay men in Africa‘s most populous country.

Under the new law, same-sex “amorous relationships” are banned, as is membership in gay rights groups, prohibitions that have sparked both fear and defiance among Nigeria’s gay activists.

Many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa outlaw homosexual acts. Efforts by Western nations to cut aid to countries like Uganda and Malawi have helped to bridle anti-gay legislation in those countries.

But Nigeria, Africa’s largest producer of oil with an output of 2.5 million barrels per day, is mostly impervious to that kind of economic pressure. As Africa’s most populous country, developments in Nigeria echo across the continent, and there appears little other countries can do except condemn the new legislation.

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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed the law on Monday (AP photo).

Posted by JD Hull at January 16, 2014 10:25 PM

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