About four percent of Nigerians are involved in same sex relationship, Special Adviser to the President, Prof Friday Okonofua, has said.
Okonofa disclosed this at a public hearing on a bill to prohibit same sex marriage and relationship, organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Women Affairs, in Abuja.
He said the number cut across all sexes and ages.
Such relationship, he said, had exposed those engaged in it to high risk of contacting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), HIV/AIDS and cancer.
The same sex relationships, he said, caused mental retardation, depression and high tendency to commit suicide.
In his remarks, Deputy Speaker Austin Opara assured that in passing the bills, the House would be guided by the respect for the nation’s religious and cultural values.
“We have values which really frown at the same sex marriage or union and we will certainly consider those values in our deliberations on the bill,” Opara said.
In her address, the chairman of the House Committee on Women Affairs, Rep Saudatu Sani, said such relationship was non-existent in most cultures across the world, and Nigeria would therefore not be in the minority nations practicing it.
The bill, Sani said, sought to provide a legal basis against same sex marriage and the proscription of adoption of children by same sex couples.
She said prohibition of same sex marriage was not only justifiable, but also a necessary step to protect public morality.
Um, I think there’s some retardation involved, but I think it’s more on the Nigerian Government’s end, rather than gay people’s.