A Nigerian LGBTQ+ online personality and activist has symbolically married her girlfriend in defiance of her country’s ban on same-sex marriage.
In a series of posts made to Instagram and Twitter on September 14, Amara, as she is known on her social media handles, shared a series of photographs of her and wife, Olayinka, celebrating their symbolic vows. As a sign of their union, each woman received a tattoo of the other’s name on her left ring finger, which Amara showcased in a photo montage shared on Twitter.
🇳🇬 the country said we can’t sign our yes on paper, so we tattoed it on our skin.
— Amara, the lesbian. (@the_amarion) September 14, 2021
“[T]he country said we can’t sign our yes on paper, so we tattooed it on our skin,” she wrote in posts on both Twitter and Instagram. The post has received over 2,500 likes on Instagram and over 10K on Twitter.
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Homosexuality is illegal in numerous West African countries. In Nigeria, same-sex marriage is prohibited by the 2014 Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act (SSMPA), and LGBTQ+ individuals face frequent incidents of violence and harassment.
In nearby Ghana, an LGBTQ+ center, founded by the group LGBT+ Rights Ghana, was forced to close in February following conservative backlash.
In May, 21 Ghanian LGBTQ+ activists were arrested and detained while attending a group meeting, at which they had gathered to discuss how to document human rights’ abuses. In August, they were acquitted and freed from custody.