Human rights activists reported that dozens of gay men were being arrested in northern Nigeria in an apparent response to the law. The United States, Britain and Canada condemned the law, with Secretary of State John Kerry saying Monday that it “dangerously restricts freedom” of expression and association of all Nigerians. President Goodluck Jonathan’s spokesman confirmed Monday that he had signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act on Jan. 7, providing penalties of up to 14 years in jail for a gay marriage and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for membership or encouragement of gay club, societies and organizations. The law also criminalizes people and groups who support “the registration, operation and sustenance of gay clubs, societies and organizations, processions or meetings in Nigeria.” Those convicted could be jailed for 10 years.
RELATED: HIV/AIDS groups and other NGOs are appealing to the United Nations, saying that their humanitarian work in Nigeria is now greatly imperiled.