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US promises to pressure Nigeria to scrap anti-gay law

 

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The US has vowed to pressure Nigeria to scraps its draconian anti-gay law.

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the US had adopted LGBTI protection as part of its foreign policies and said Washington would mount sustained pressure on the African country to end its persecution of gay people.

“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,” she said during a live-web chat with journalists in Washington.

“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 community.”

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Thomas-Greenfiled said that she did not think pressuring Nigeria to reverse the anti-gay law amounted to interference.

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“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,” she said.

“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 orientation.”

“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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