The Senate President, David Mark, has said that no matter the pressure from a section of the international and human rights communities, Nigeria would not legalize same-sex marriage.
He declared that the law criminalizing marriage between consenting adults of the same gender had come to stay.
This was part of a statement released by his spokesman, Paul Mumeh, in Abuja on Monday, which also quoted the top legislator as saying that same sex marriage was now a criminal offence punishable by nothing less than a 14-year jail term.
The Senate President had made these remarks when he addressed Catholic faithful and guests at the civic reception in honour of the Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan in Abuja on Sunday.
He also said that Nigerians should all join in the crusade to prove to the world that there is still decency, saying that same-sex marriage is not a value that should be copied into this society from other societies.
“We have to prove to the rest of the world who are advocates of this unnatural way that we Nigerians promote and respect sanity, morality and humanity. Every individual is a product of the union of a man and a woman.”
Mark also acknowledged the cordial relationship between the Nigerian State and the Church and assured that the National Assembly would not cease to do all within the law to ensure religious freedom and peaceful co-existence in the country.
While he added that the National Assembly would continue to support religious programmes with positive effects on the people, he however condemned religious intolerance or extremism.
He also asked that spiritual leaders continue to pray for good governance, peace and security, adding that “we are doing our best to ensure protection of life and property”.
In his appreciation, Onaiyekan thanked Pope Benedict XII, the government and people of Nigeria for their prayers and support especially since he was elevated to a cardinal. He said he would not cease to be a crusader for peace and unity of the nation where every citizen would have a sense of belonging.
In earlier remarks, the chairman of the reception organizing committee, Rev Father Innocent Jooji noted that Onaiyekan was a worthy soldier of Christ who had brought the country honour with his promotion into the College of Cardinals.