AHEAD of President Muhammadu
Buhari’s meeting with his United
States, US counterpart, Barak
Obama at White House on July 20,
Washington yesterday said it would
mount pressure on Nigeria to accept
same-sex marriage.
same=sexThe meeting is at the instance of
Obama. Ambassador Susan Rice
confirmed Obama’s invitation to
Buhari via her twitter handle; @
AmbassadorRice when she tweeted,
“we announced @WhiteHouse visit
next month of Nigerian President
Buhari, who was inaugurated in
May after a historic election.”
Since Obama’s invitation was
announced, Nigerians have been
apprehensive that Obama could
use the forum to prevail on Buhari
to reverse Nigeria’s anti-gay
law signed by former President
Goodluck Jonathan in January 2014.
Buhari, who has accepted the
invitation, said he would use the
visit to strengthen ties between the
two countries.
The fears were confirmed
yesterday by the US Assistant
Secretary of State for African Affairs,
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who
stated categorically that they would continue to pressure Nigeria until it
legalises same-sex marriage.
Thomas-Greenfield revealed
America’s plans yesterday during
a live-web chat with journalists in
Washington DC.
US recently legalised gay
marriage, a development, which
sparked off mixed reactions across
the globe.
Thomas-Greenfield, who said
the US had adopted the protection
of the rights of same-sex people as
part of its foreign policies, vowed
that Washington would continue
to mount and sustain pressure
on Nigeria and other countries to
reverse their laws against lesbians,
gays, bisexuals and transgender,
LGBT community.
She said: “As a government, it
is one of the highest priorities and
strongest values that discrimination
against anyone based on their sexual
orientation and gender identity is
wrong. We believe human rights
should be available to everybody.
As a policy, we will continue to
press the government of Nigeria,
as well as other governments who
have provided legislation that
discriminate against the LGBT
Thomas-Greenfield, who did not agree that pressuring Nigeria
to reverse the anti-gay law
amounted to interference, said
the country and Uganda have
the hardest legislation on the gay
She said: “This is very much
a work in progress, but I think
you will agree with me that the
law in Nigeria really went far
in discriminating against this
community but also people who
associate with them. So, we will
continue to press the government,
to press the legislature to change
these laws and provide human
rights for all Nigerian people
regardless of their sexual
Thomas-Greenfield was
optimistic that the US would
win the fight to protect the LGBT
She continued: “With what is
happening in the US, you can
determine how far we are willing
to go. We strongly believe human
rights for all people and we are
particularly opposed to legislation
that actually targets the gay
community for discrimination.
So, we are prepared to push this
as a policy, not just in Africa but
across the world.”

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