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State Department Spokesperson Grilled Over Nigeria's Anti-Gay Law: VIDEO


Yesterday we reported on the signing of an oppressive anti-gay law by Nigeria's President Jonathan Goodluck.

NigeriaThe Washington Blade's Chris Johnson questioned State Department spokesperson Marie Harf about the new Nigerian law and the administration's objections to it.

While the law bans same-sex marriage and gay unions, its more troubling aspects deal with the banning of LGBT organizations and meetings. Harf said the State Dept. agrees with that assertion:

Obviously, we respect the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the prerogatives of its national assembly to pass legislation. We just don’t support any legislation that institutionalizes discrimination against one select group of people, and I think one of the key reasons we are opposed to this is that the law goes far beyond prohibiting same-sex marriage.

JonathanHarf also said the State Dept had been monitoring it since its inception and had been in contact with Nigeria about it:

“Since the law was in draft form, we’ve been in continual contact with the Jonathan administration, the National Assembly and a wide variety of Nigerian stakeholders,” Harf said. “Our conversations have been focused on our concerns that portions of the law, again, appear to restrict Nigerians’ rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association — provisions that we’ve been very clear we do not support.”

Harf said she did not know whether sanctions or restrictions on aid were on the table as a result of this.

Watch Harf take questions from Johnson, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. thought Jen Psaki was bad but this girl, can't get past that seventies hair, liked her questioner though. Oh, for the good old days of Margaret Tutwiler and Chas Boucher.

    Posted by: Cd in DC | Jan 14, 2014 8:30:53 AM

  2. The little map you embedded has Zaire on it. Lol.

    Posted by: Matt | Jan 14, 2014 8:39:54 AM

  3. Yikes, all that hair on Marie Harf. Someone give that girl a pair of scissors.

    Posted by: richard | Jan 14, 2014 9:11:26 AM

  4. The US, and in line the UK, should be cutting off aid to Nigeria to protest the implementation of this law. Most of the ruling class in African countries got their education outside of their countries, often in the US, UK or EU and know better, but are pandering to their base factions at home.

    Cut off aid, that might change some attitudes.

    Posted by: bkmn | Jan 14, 2014 9:13:01 AM

  5. We should probably ban Nigerians from entering the US. Don't need to import their garbage here.

    Posted by: Kev C | Jan 14, 2014 9:50:46 AM

  6. These shoes rule... these shoes SUCK!

    Posted by: The Milkman | Jan 14, 2014 9:50:51 AM

  7. @ "We should probably ban Nigerians from entering the US. Don't need to import their garbage here."

    The Gay Nigerians also, KEV C. That's who is suffering here.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 14, 2014 9:57:32 AM

  8. Boot them from the United Nations! Also boot Russia and Israel. They clearly have no respect for the laws and conventions that govern it.

    Posted by: Bravo | Jan 14, 2014 9:57:38 AM

  9. Nigeria is the largest petroleum exporter in Africa, and 13th largest exporter in the world. The US government will wring its hands, gnash its teeth, then proceed to do absolutely nothing. Addicts know better than to piss off their suppliers.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Jan 14, 2014 10:35:12 AM

  10. Why DIDN'T she know if "sanctions or restrictions" was on the table? That should be the Administrations first reaction to such bigotry and hate in Nigeria. Stop. Cease all funding to Nigeria. Don't travel to Nigeria and offer any gay person in Nigeria asylum in the U.S. immediately. Geez, what is wrong with this Administration???

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Jan 14, 2014 11:38:48 AM

  11. Nigeria is caught in a civil war (over oil) with one side ruled by fundamentalist Islamics and the other ruled by fundamentalist Christians.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 14, 2014 11:51:39 AM

  12. "Jonathan" is his surname, "Goodluck" is his given name.

    Posted by: Agog | Jan 14, 2014 12:16:48 PM

  13. Jeebus! She's awful! Cut your GD hair, for 2 BIG reasons. 1. You will stop playing with it because you're nervous and in over your head. 2. You look like you are interviewing for a news reader job over at FOX News.

    Good grief! She has GOT to be related to somebody in the State Department.

    Posted by: Kenn | Jan 14, 2014 12:23:45 PM

  14. Speaking of ...

    The United Kingdom is considering deporting a Nigerian immigrant back to his home country. Olalekan M Ayelokun is gay. Returning him would be a death sentence. Please sign this petition to state your opposition to the move and bring it to the British government's attention

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Jan 14, 2014 1:29:23 PM

  15. Maybe it's just me, but the president of Nigeria looks like a pimp. All he is missing is a pimp cane and a feather in his hat!

    Posted by: David | Jan 14, 2014 1:43:17 PM

  16. "Harf said she did not know whether sanctions or restrictions on aid were on the table as a result of this." - That means there aren't; because NOBODY BUT LGBTs GIVE A DAMN.

    Posted by: likeabear | Jan 14, 2014 2:53:09 PM

  17. Gregory in Seattle: You may want to get up to date on the fact that the US is on the verge of being a net exporter of energy (oil and natural gas) so we don't have to pander to countries because they export petroleum

    Posted by: Observer | Jan 14, 2014 6:31:53 PM

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