ABUJA, Nigeria — Lawmakers in Nigeria passed a bill Thursday banning gay marriage and outlawing anyone from forming an organization supporting gay rights, setting prison terms of up to 14 years.

Nigeria’s House of Representatives approved the bill in a voice vote, probably sending it immediately to President Goodluck Jonathan for him to potentially sign into law in ­Africa’s most populous nation. Whether he will approve it remains unclear, and both the United States and the United Kingdom raised concerns over a measure that could put foreign funding for HIV outreach programs in jeopardy.

Nigeria’s Senate passed the bill in November 2011 and the measure quietly disappeared before coming up in Thursday’s session of the House. Under previous versions, couples who marry could face up to 14 years each in prison. Witnesses or anyone who helps couples marry could get 10 years.


Other additions include making it illegal to register gay organizations, as well as criminalizing the “public show of same-sex amorous relationships directly or indirectly.”


Associated Press