Nigerian lawmakers in the House of Representatives have started considering a bill seeking to prohibit cross-dressing, making it illegal for a male to dress as female and the other way round.
Nigerian celebrities like Bobrisky and James Brown who are most popular for their cross-dressing will be affected if this bill goes all the way and is passed.
The proposed legislation, which seeks to amend the Same Se.x Marriage (Prohibition) Act 2013, passed its first reading in the lower legislative chamber on Tuesday.
The bill is sponsored by Muda Lawal, a lawmaker representing Toro federal constituency of Bauchi state.
The bill proposes to add two new sub-clauses to section 4 of the existing act.
The new sub-clauses read: “(1) Cross-dressing whether done publicly is prohibited; (2) A person shall be deemed to have committed the offence publicly where it is published or displayed publicly notwithstanding that it was committed privately or in any place that would have ordinarily been described as private.”
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The proposed amendment, however, provided an exception that the clauses “shall not apply to cross-dressing in the course of a stage play or in any bona ﬁde public entertainment”.
Section 5 of the bill also proposes sanctions for would-be violators of the aforementioned new clauses.
“A person engaged in cross-dressing is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for 6 months or to a ﬁne of ﬁve hundred thousand naira,” it reads.
The bill defines cross-dressing to mean “the practice of wearing clothes usually worn by a person of the opposite sex”.
This implies that when passed into law, Bobrisky, whose real name is Idris Okuneye, and James Brown — both Nigerian cross-dressers — may face up to six months in jail if they continue with their current practice.
Nigerians on social media have since reacted to the new bill taking to Social Media to make their opinion known.
One BabaIbo wrote; “These people and focusing on unnecessary things while ignoring important issues ehn. Is cross-dressing Nigeria’s problem right now?
“Is it more important than the dwindling economy, insecurity rocking the country, exploitation by all these service providers like multichoice and Co, and so on?
“I wonder how the country will improve with this crop of politicians.”
One Fairmedia wrote; “Arrest bobrisky, he is leading the kids astray. It’s a shame how Bobrisky flaunts decadence and depravity on our collective faces, debasing the minds of our children. We need people with solutions, we need people with ideas to develop the country, we can not allow impoverished, and deceased people like Bobrisky destroy the minds of our kids and get them twisted.”
obedience4 wrote; ‘Well I don’t support immorality..Why hasn’t the house come to pass laws that deals with terrorism and banditry..”
AFONJAPIG wrote; “And cross dressers are the fulani bandits they will ban from killing innocent people… such a useless people”