The acceptance rate of Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals among Nigerians is on the rise according to a latest survey by NOIPolls, a premier organisation for country specific polling services in West Africa.
Commissioned by The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs), a non-profit organization working to protect the rights of sexual minorities, the Social Perception Survey on Lesbian, Gays and Bisexual Rights report showed a rise in family acceptance from 11 per cent in 2015 to 13 per cent in 2017.
The Nigerian Senate passed the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act – also known as Anti-Gay Bill – in late 2013 before it was signed into law by former President Goodluck Jonathan in January 2014.
The law criminalises same-sex unions in Nigeria with a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment if convicted. It also seeks to punish any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organizations directly or indirectly with a jail term of 10 years.
A 2015 survey conducted by NOIPolls showed a majority of adult Nigerians (87 per cent) remained in support of the law, although the figure was down by 5-points from the 2013 survey where 92 per cent showed support for the bill.
But the latest NOIPoll’s findings showed that 39 per cent of Nigerians now say that Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual persons should be allowed to have access to public services, a 9 per cent increase from 30 per cent of respondents in 2015.
One of the highlights of the report was the fact that 17 per cent of respondents answered in affirmative when asked if they know someone who is Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual- a family member, friend, or someone within their locality.
The survey method involved a random nationwide sampling of 2,000 respondents who were interviewed over the telephone. Participants were selected from the six geo-political zones through a proportionate stratified random sample design.