Nigeria Moves to Ban, Criminalize Gay Marriage

LAGOS -- Legislators in Nigeria are trying to ban gay marriage, and activists fear the effort could increase discrimination in Africa's most populous nation.

Under the measure, couples who marry could face up to three years in jail, and witnesses or anyone who helps couples marry could be sentenced to five years behind bars.

Human Rights Watch and other activists say if the bill passes, gay and lesbians could face even greater discrimination and violence.

Homosexuality is already technically illegal in Nigeria, a country that may be evenly divided between Christians and Muslims but is nearly universally opposed to homosexuality.

In the areas in Nigeria's north where Islamic Shariah law is enforced, gays and lesbians can face death by stoning.