Irrespective of pressures from some sections of the international community and human rights activists demanding the legalization of same sex marriage in Nigeria , President of the Senate Senator David Mark has insisted that that the bill prohibiting same sex marriage is irrevocable.
Besides banning the same sex marriage, Senator Mark said it is now a criminal offence punishable by imprisonment of not less than 14 years.
Addressing, Catholic faithful and guests at the civic reception in honour of the Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyean in Abuja at the weekend he said in spite of the pressures from some quarters , the law has come to stay.
The President of the Senate said: ” We will not compromise on this. I want to invite you all to join the crusade of decency in our society . There are many good values we can copy from other societies but certainly not this one ( same sex marriage).
” We have to prove to the rest of the world, who are advocates of this unnatural way that we Nigerians promote and respect sanity, morality and humanity. Every individual is a product of the union of a man and woman”.
He acknowledged the cordial relationship between the Nigerian State and the Church and pledged that the National Assembly will continue to do all within the law to ensure religious freedom and peaceful co-existence in the country.
Senator Mark added that the National Assembly will continue to support religious programmes that have positive bearing on Nigerians but was quick to condemn in the strongest possible terms religious intolerance or extremism.
He therefore enjoined spiritual leaders to continue to pray for good governance, peace and security which are major challenges in our society today.
On his part, he stressed ” we are doing our best to ensure protection of life and property”.
In his remarks, Cardinal Onaiyekan expressed appreciation to the Pope Benedict xii , the government and people of Nigeria for their prayers and support especially since his elevation to the Collage of Cardinals , saying he will continue to be a crusader for peace and unity of the nation where every citizen have a sense of belonging.
Earlier , chairman of the reception organizing committee Rev.Father Innocent Jooji noted that Onaiyekan a worthy soldier of Christ has brought honour to the nation with his elevation to the collage of Cardinals.