The outgoing U.S. Consular-General, Jeffrey Hawkins has described America’s view of the Nations anti-gay law.
James F. Entwistle is the U.S. ambassador to Nigeria in a statement to news agents had said the nation’s anti-gay law being capable of jeopardizing her chances of receiving aids from the United States.
However, Hawkins, in a Premium Times interview shed his view on the issue.
“Obviously we have an extremely robust assistance relationship with Nigeria he said, and we do something in the order of $650 million a year, which is so over half a billion dollars in a year as assistance to the country.
“We do feel very strongly that the rights of all, small and great including those from the LGBT community as represented should also be respected and protected as we are strongly committed to human rights and we like our partners to be likewise also.
There was a great deal of debate and discussion with Nigeria when the Same-Sex Marriage Act was passed, particularly not because the issue of same-sex marriage itself, because it was already not permitted in the country”.
“We didn’t have a view on that one other than it’s an internal thing. But because that law made it illegal to belong to an organization that espouse same sex marriage. That law made it illegal to speak openly about that issue. So for us those were issues probably unconstitutional under Nigeria’s Constitution”.
“Those were issues that were affecting freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and that’s why we had significant problem with that law”.
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