A group of 53 people charged in Nigeria after their arrests last week from what police say was a party celebrating an unofficial gay wedding.
The group pleaded not guilty to charges relating to conspiracy, unlawfully assembly and membership in an unlawful society.
Homosexuality has been illegal in Nigeria since 2014. And homosexual acts could result in a maximum jail sentence of 14 years.
A defence lawyer for the group said in court that the defendants were mostly students. Furthermore, he said the group had been illegally detained for more than 24 hours, according to reports.
LGBT-rights activists refute the police’s report that the men were celebrating a same-sex or gay wedding. They said the event in the northern city of Zaria was a birthday party.
Maria Sjodin, deputy executive director of OutRight Action International, a group advocating for LGBT rights internationally, told NBC News that the arrests buttress part of an attempt to suppress “an emerging LGBTQ movement” in the West African country. Sjodin described Nigeria’s anti-gay law as “a way to crack down on anyone advocating for human rights of LGBT people.”
Gay people are unpopular and more stressful, a report indicates. The report found that the men in our study have more tendencies to use positive – or helpful – coping strategies. This negates the fact that many of them use negative strategies. These included accepting things as they were – in other words, they accepted their sexual orientation and adopted a positive attitude towards it. Thus, strategies like this produce a better quality of life.