Nigeria: Same-sex marriage remains prohibited – Mark

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President of the Senate, David Mark, has said no amount of pressure from a section of the international community and the human rights community will deter Nigeria from prohibiting same-sex marriage.

Mark said the law, which criminalises marriage between consenting adults of the same gender, had come to stay.

This was contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Paul Mumeh, in Abuja, on Monday.

According to the statement, Mark said same-sex marriage had now become a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment of not less than 14 years.

The statement said the Senate President made this known while addressing Catholic faithful and guests at the civic reception in honour of the Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan in Abuja on Sunday.

The statement quoted the Senate President to have said, “I want to invite you all to join the crusade of decency in our society. There are many good values we can copy from other societies, but certainly not this one (same-sex marriage).

“We have to prove to the rest of the world, who are advocates of this unnatural way, that we Nigerians promote and respect sanity, morality and humanity. Every individual is a product of the union of a man and woman.”

Mark acknowledged the cordial relationship between the Nigerian State and the Church and pledged that the National Assembly would continue to do all within the law to ensure religious freedom and peaceful co-existence in the country.

He added that the National Assembly would continue to support religious programmes with positive bearing on Nigerians, but condemned religious intolerance or extremism.

He enjoined spiritual leaders to continue to pray for good governance, peace and security, adding “we are doing our best to ensure protection of life and property”.

Onaiyekan expressed appreciation to the Pope Benedict xii , the government and people of Nigeria for their prayers and support especially since his elevation to the College of Cardinals. He said he would continue to be a crusader for peace and unity of the nation where every citizen would have a sense of belonging.

Earlier, chairman of the reception organising committee, Rev. Father Innocent Jooji, noted that Onaiyekan, a worthy soldier of Christ, had brought honour to the nation with his elevation to the collage of Cardinals.

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