Ban on gay unions 'violates African Charter'
14 March 2014, 14:05
Cape Town – The UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has reportedly expressed concern over the recently passed Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act in Nigeria, saying the law was a violation of the African Charter and the Nigerian constitution.
According to Africa Review, Pillay said this during a meeting with Nigeria's justice minister as part of her three-day official visit to Africa's most populous nation.
Nigeria recently banned same-sex marriage and civil unions. Under the terms of the law - criticised by the EU, the US and Amnesty International among others - anyone who enters into a same-sex marriage or civil union can be sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Pillay said the law may have negative consequences for public health in Nigeria.
"It may deter LGBT persons from taking up HIV education, prevention treatment and care services and also hinder the ability of government as well as civil society and religious groups from implementing such services" Pillay was quoted as saying.