Same-gender sexual activity — for both men and women — is illegal in Nigeria. The maximum punishment is death by stoning in 12 Northern Muslim states and up to 14 years imprisonment in Southern Christian states. All forms of same-gender unions and marriage are criminalised throughout the country and same-gender couples are ineligible to adopt children. The country does not allow or recognise LGBTQIA+ rights and there is no law to protect them against any kind of discrimination or violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Nigeria does not allow citizens to change their legal gender and crossdressing is illegal in Northern states of Nigeria. There are several reports of gays and lesbians being arrested by police at private parties.
LGBTQIA+ persons face severe social challenges in Nigeria – a very conservative country. Very few LGBTQIA+ persons are open about their orientation, and violence against LGBTQIA+ people is frequent. There is demonstrated public hostility towards same-sex relationships. Openly homosexual citizens are subject to public aggression and violence. Some organisations in Nigeria try to assist LGBTQIA+ persons, such as the Metropolitan Community Churches. Nevertheless, it exposes members of those organisations to threats, beatings, and stoning by members of the public and they are always at risk of violence or abuse.
There are laws in Nigeria that forbid homosexual clubs, associations, and organisations. Thus, if anyone is found to be associated with them, they could be penalised for up to 15 years in jail. Nevertheless, these Nigerian organisations have been registered through ILGA:
ACHIEVERS IMPROVED HEALTH INITIATIVE, Access to Good Health Initiative, Africa Rainbow, African Focus For Youth, Development, Alliance Rights Nigeria, Centre for the Right to Health, Changing Attitude Nigeria, Concerned Women International Development Initiative, House of Rainbow, INCRESE, Improved Sexual Health and Rights Advocacy Initiative, Initiative for the Advancement of Improved Health and Development, International Centre for Total Health and Rights Advocacy Empowerment, Levites Initiative for Freedom and Enlightenment, Male Attitude Network, Queer Alliance Nigeria, Society to Heighten Awareness of Women and Children Abuse, The Initiative for Equal Rights, Total Health Empowerment and Development Initiative, Women Initiative for Sustainable Empowerment and Equality, Women's Health and Equal Rights Initiative.
LGBTQIA+ Nigerians are fleeing to countries with more progressive laws to seek protection in North American - mostly United States and Canada - or European countries like Germany and Belgium.