The Presidency on Wednesday admitted that the issue of gay marriage came up during President Muhammadu Buhari’s four-day official visit to the United States.
It said the President, however, rejected the idea “point-blank.”
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, disclosed this on his Twitter handle on Wednesday.
Adesina said the issue of gay marriage was raised in one of the meetings that the President attended in Washington DC on Tuesday.
He, however, refused to disclose the specific meeting attended by the President where the issue was raised.
The presidential spokesman said when the issue came up, Buhari made it clear that sodomy is against the law of Nigeria and abhorrent to the country’s culture.
“The issue of gay marriage came up here yesterday (Tuesday). PMB (President Buhari) was point-blank. Sodomy is against the law in Nigeria, and abhorrent to our culture,” Adesina posted on his Twitter handle.
Among the meetings attended by Buhari on Tuesday were the ones he had with the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the Nigerians resident in the US.
The fear among stakeholders ahead of Buhari’s US trip was that he could succumb to the US authorities’ pressure on gay rights.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan had in January 13, 2014 signed the anti-gay marriage bill into law.
The law prohibits gay marriage and same-sex relationships and prescribes a 14-year prison term for offenders.
Jonathan had defied western governments’ pressure urging Nigeria to respect gay and lesbian rights.
The law, which also proscribes membership of gay rights groups, was passed by the National Assembly in May 2013 but Jonathan had delayed signing it into law.
Two similar bills have been proposed since 2006 but failed to make it through parliament.
“Persons who enter into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are each liable, on conviction, to a term of 14-year in prison.
“Any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organisations or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison,” the law states.