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Dozens arrested for being gay in north Nigeria

BY MICHELLE FAUL
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Local and international groups fighting AIDS warned on Tuesday that a new Nigerian law criminalizing same-sex marriage and gay organizations will jeopardize the fight against the deadly disease.

Human rights activists reported that dozens of gay men were being arrested in northern Nigeria in an apparent response to the law. The United States, Britain and Canada condemned the law, with Secretary of State John Kerry saying Monday that it "dangerously restricts freedom" of expression and association of all Nigerians.

President Goodluck Jonathan's spokesman confirmed Monday that he had signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act on Jan. 7, providing penalties of up to 14 years in jail for a gay marriage and up to 10 years' imprisonment for membership or encouragement of gay club, societies and organizations.

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