On March 7, Solidarity Alliance Nigeria, “a coalition of Nigerian LGBT-focused, human rights and HIV/AIDS organizations and individuals in Nigeria,” called for cities around the world to observe a “Global Day of Action” in support of Nigeria’s LGBT community. A ban against gay sex already existed, but, on January 24 , Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill that both expands the anti-gay list of offenses and harshens punishments for previously banned activities, including gay marriage, which now carries a 14-year prison sentence. The law also prohibits public displays of affection between same-sex couples and anyone caught operating a gay club or providing any service to a member of the LGBT community faces 10 years of incarceration. Since the law passed, violence against Nigeria’s gay community has risen to a desperate level and there have been numerous arrests, so the day of action couldn’t have taken place sooner. In the United States, protesters gathered in front of the Nigerian consulate in New York City and the Nigerian embassy in Washington, D.C. At the NYC demonstration, at least eight protesters were arrested. In D.C., the Head of the Political Section at the Nigerian Embassy came out to hear the protesters’ concerns. The demonstrators all had one end-game in mind: getting President Jonathan to rescind the outrageous law that essentially bans love. Concerned citizens anywhere in the world can use social media to voice their disapproval and stand in solitary with gay Nigerians by utilizing hashtag #istandw9jaLGBT. You can also learn more about and sign the petition drafted by the Solidarity Alliance Nigeria found here. Photographer Atane Ofiaja has an amazing slideshow of the event here.