Letter to Nigerian Ambassador Regarding Anti-Gay Legislation

January 15, 2014

H.E. Prof. Adebowale Ibidapo Adefuye
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Dear Mr. Ambassador,

The Anti-Defamation League is a one-hundred-year old civil rights/human relations agency, dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defending democratic ideals and protecting civil rights for all in the United States and around the world.

We are writing to express deep concern at Nigeria’s enactment of a law which makes it a crime for a person – be they gay or heterosexual – to register, operate, support or participate in an organization to assist the gay community, hold a meeting of homosexuals, or run a gay club, and for same-sex couples to “directly or indirectly” publicly show affection or enter into a same-sex marriage or civil union.  This is in addition to long-time Nigerian law which bars same-sex sexual relations. 

Nigeria rightly celebrates its democracy, its position as Africa’s most vibrant economy, and its prominence within the international community.   We share the view of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that this law “dangerously restricts freedom of assembly, association, and expression for all Nigerians,” thereby undermining Nigeria’s democratic values and international standing. 

We respectfully urge you to reconsider this law, and instead consider measures which will allow for freedom of assembly and interactions for all Nigerians regardless of faith, ethnicity or sexual orientation.


Abraham H. Foxman
National Director