Leave gay people alone – Nigerian rights group fights same-sex bill

by Rachel Ogbu

To mark International Human Rights Day, The Initiative for Equal  Rights (TIERS) has called upon civil society, the Nigerian Bar Association and all human rights organisations to add their voices and join in the celebration of human rights by refusing to pass into law a bill “that violates the very essence of human rights”.

In a statement released, TIER explained that it is deeply concerned about the anti-gay bill, which has just passed its second reading at the National House of Assembly in November 2012.

The bill by its content violates multiple human rights, including but not limited to; The right to freedom of association and assembly, the right to freedom of expression, the right to privacy, the right to  thought, conscience and religion and the right to equality of all people, all of which are rights that are entrenched in the 1999 Nigerian constitution.

It  contradicts  Nigeria’s  commitment  to  Regional  and  International  human  instruments  to which it  is a signatory. These instruments include the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights  (ACHPR),   the  Universal  Declaration  of  Human  Rights  (UDHR),  the  International Covenant on Civil and  Political Rights (ICCPR) and other instruments.

”Human Rights are human entitlements which apply to everyone. Therefore, no one should be discriminated because of their gender, sexual orientation, or disability.  We all should enjoy human right but unfortunately many people don’t,” says Olumide Makanjuola, the TIERs Director of Programs.

TIER says it’s committed to celebrating human rights and is particularly commemorating the International Human Rights’ Day as a human rights organisation – a day dedicated to celebrating rights for all and for defenders around the world to end human rights violations against vulnerable members of society.

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