President Joe Biden has fulfilled his campaign pledge by releasing a memorandum to protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people worldwide,.
Recall that ex-President Goodluck Jonathan signed the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act in January 2014, criminalising same sex marriage..
It is uncertain if Nigeria will review the law due to its religious status.
President Biden in the memo threatens” “swift and meaningful” responses, including financial sanctions against countries found guilty of human rights abuses of LGBTQI+ persons.
The memo said: “When foreign governments move to restrict the rights of LGBTQI+ persons or fail to enforce legal protections in place, thereby contributing to a climate of intolerance, agencies engaged abroad shall consider appropriate responses, including using the full range of diplomatic and assistance tools and, as appropriate, financial sanctions, visa restrictions, and other actions.”
“All human beings should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear no matter who they are or whom they love,” said the memorandum, building on a 2011 directive issued when Biden was serving as vice president.
“The United States belongs at the forefront of this struggle – speaking out and standing strong for our most dearly held values.”
Biden had pledge to pass LGBTQ rights legislation known as the Equality Act in the first 100 days of his administration and make LGBTQ rights group a focus.