Nigeria is preparing to pass the most draconian anti-gay laws this side of Iran.
The bill started out as a ban on same-sex marriage and has been revised to make it a crime for more than two gay people to be in the same venue at the same time.
It prohibits LGBT social or civil rights groups from forming. It would be illegal to sell or rent property to same-sex couples, watch a gay film or video, visit an LGBT web site, or express same-sex love in a letter to one’s partner.
The legislation goes so far as to make it a criminal offense to impart information of HIV/AIDS to gays or for non-gays to meet with any group of gays for any purpose.
The penalty for those offenses would be 5 years in prison with hard labor. But that’s not all:
Gay sex already is illegal in Nigeria with sentences up to 14 years behind bars. In the mostly Islamic north homosexuality can be punishable by death.
Last year it became a crime for same-sex Nigerian couples to travel abroad to marry.
And here’s the kicker:
The new bill has the support of Nigeria’s Anglican Church, and its leader Archbishop Peter Akinola who has been at the forefront of opposing gay clergy in the denomination. Conservative Anglican churches in the US have aligned themselves with Akinola.
And this is the same Nigeria, and the same Archbishop Akinola, that is being held up by the religious right as a model for America on how to handle gays.