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Nigeria poised to pass anti-gay bill


09:05 AM November 17th, 2012

November 17th, 2012 09:05 AM

U.S Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human rights and Labour Michael H. Posner, speaks to journalists during a news conference at the U.S consulate in Lagos, Nigeria, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. Posner says there is little the US or other foreign governments can do to stop the passage a bill that criminalizes gay marriage, gay advocacy groups and same-sex public displays of affection in Africa’s most populous nation. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

LAGOS, Nigeria— A top U.S. human rights official says he has not discussed with Nigerian lawmakers an anti-gay bill poised to pass Parliament.

Michael H. Posner, the Assistant of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, declined to comment directly on the pending legislation during a press conference at the U.S. consulate in Lagos on Friday.

But, he says human rights issues must be addressed within societies and “it is very difficult, if not impossible, for (foreign) governments to force that change.”

The Parliament of Africa’s most populous nation is expected to formally pass the bill criminalizing gay marriage, gay advocacy groups and same-sex public displays. It must then be signed the president, though it was not clear when that might happen.

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