African Same-Sex Marriage Variant

Publication Information

Journal Title: Commonwealth Law Review Journal
Author(s): Benjamin Ijeoma Adigwe
Published On: 02/08/2023
Volume: 9
First Page: 338
Last Page: 366
ISSN: 2581-3382
Publisher: The Law Brigade Publisher

DOI: 10.55662/CLRJ.2023.908

Cite this Article

Benjamin Ijeoma Adigwe, African Same-Sex Marriage Variant, Volume 9, Commonwealth Law Review Journal, 338-366, Published on 02/08/2023, 10.55662/CLRJ.2023.908 Available at


A Same-Sex Marriage is a marriage where the parties are members of the same sex. It is a marriage between two men or two women. It is the marriage of two people of the same sex. African Scholars have been very emphatic in their submission that same – Sex Marriages have no place in the African experience and that it is abhorred in Africa. There has therefore been a wholesale condemnation of Same-Sex Marriages in Africa with most of its leaders and people refusing to be proselytes in the ongoing mass movement to legalize Same – Sex/ Gay Marriages, a resistance that approached its crescendo with the then President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe declaring that he was going to the White House to propose to the then President Barak Obama of the US. This article aims at showing that there is a variant of same-sex marriages that is indigenous to Africa as could be seen in the practice of same by the Anioma people of Delta State of Nigeria. This article uses the analytical research method in achieving its aim. It finds that there are pockets of same-sex marriages which might be christened African instituted same-sex marriages as it appears indigenous to Africa, using its practice by the Anioma people as a prototype. The article finds also that even though the extant laws criminalize such practices where they are found, it is still currently practiced with parties thereto enforcing their rights under the marriage by threats of metaphysical harm. The article further finds that the purpose of this African-instituted same-sex marriage is similar to the purpose of surrogacy, which is assisted reproduction. It, therefore, recommends a hybrid from both concepts where the nomenclature of marriage is removed from this customary practice and the payment of bride price replaced with the payment of commission as it is done under surrogacy which the law does not frown at. In this way, the criminality attached to same-sex marriages will be removed even when the couple cohabit. This paper has contributed to knowledge in showing that in fact, same-sex marriages are not truly alien to Africa, as some variants of it exist and proffers possible ways to make it legally acceptable.

Keywords: Same-sex Marriage, Assisted Reproductive Technology, Customary law Marriage, Ghost Marriage, Woman – woman marriage, LGBTI in Africa, infertility, womb renting, Demas Nwoko , Surrogacy, Homosexuality, Gay Marriages, Decriminalizing Gay Marriages, ‘Zulu Sofola.

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