Thursday , 31 July 2014

Anti-gay Law: US Not Cutting HIV/AIDS Funding To Nigeria

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The United States has no plans to cut
funding for HIV/AIDS to Nigeria,
Ambassador James Entwistle has
confirmed, adding however that country’s
anti-gay law was a ‘worrisome precedent.’
President Goodluck Jonathan had earlier in
the month signed the Same-s*x Marriage
Prohibition Act, under which officials
were given permission to hand down jail
sentences from five to 14 years to gay
people, gay organisations, same-s*x
couples entering into marriage, gay
marriage guests or people, who know
others to be gay.
Speaking, yesterday, at the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC)
headquarters in Abuja, Entwistle said the
US would not cut funding to Nigeria over
the new anti-gay law.
“Absolutely not,” Entwistle replied when
asked if aids would be cut, adding, “But
we have to look at it very carefully and
make sure that everything we do is in
compliance with the new law.
“As you know, we put millions of dollars
in the fight against HIV/AIDS. And again, I
am not a lawyer; I read the law and it
seems to me that it may put some
restrictions on what we can do to help
fight HIV/AIDS in this country.
“These are the issues we are looking at as
we look at the law.”
The ambassador also spoke on his own
country’s anti-gay laws, saying: “The issue
of same-s*x marriage is very
controversial all over the world, including
my country where 17 states out of 50
have considered it. Some are saying it is
not legal.’
“The issue that we see and I am speaking
as a friend of Nigeria, it looks to me that
it puts significant restrictions in the
freedom of assembly and freedom of
expression and, in my opinion, especially
in advanced democracies, once a
government begins to say something in
these areas, freedom no longer applies. It
seems to me that such is a very
worrisome precedent.”

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