Liberia: Gay Rights Debate Heightens

Published: January 11, 2012

Public debate here on call for the legalization of homosexuality continues to attract acrimonious responses, including condemnations with report that the man leading the campaign for the legitimization of gay and lesbianism Archie Pon-Pon, narrowly escaped death Wednesday, on the Fendell campus of the University of Liberia outside Monrovia at the hands of angry students.

The debate for gay rights here has also received international in puts with some contributors seeing nothing wrong with the promotion of same sex union here, at least since this paper publish an article suggesting that gay activists were bend on pushing a "gay bill" through.

On the home front three lawmakers of the 53rd Liberian Legislature have vowed to resist in the strongest term, if a gay and lesbian bill is introduced in the Chamber of the House of Representatives.

Grand Kru County Representative George Blamoh Wesseh; Nimba County Representative Prince Tokpah, and Bong County Representative Edward Karfiah separately said, they will make sure that anything that looks like gay and lesbian rights bill will be kicked out of the Capitol Building.

Representative Wesseh said it is unacceptable and beyond the thinking of ordinary citizens to imagine same sex marriage in Liberia. "It is demonic and evil. It actually beats my imagination for any young man and woman to think of same sex marriage; are they real human beings or what?"

Speaking to the New Dawn Thursday at the Capitol, he said the Liberian society is not prepared to introduce or sustain the legality of gay and lesbian practice. "If you were to go in my little village in Grand Kru County and talk about same sex marriage, you will face the wrath of the residents; it is punishable traditionally just for saying it in the public."

Adding his voice, Bong County Electoral District #5 Representative Edward Karfiah, said the issue of gay and lesbian rights in this contemporary era is harmful and dangerous for the young generation of Liberia.

"We know that everyone should have the right of association but to the detriment of our society, culture and tradition, then it is no more right, but evil only intended to reduce the population of our country.

Look, if you as a journalist went in my town Suakoko, in Bong County and talked about same sex marriage, I can assure that you will have questions to answer from our traditional leaders because our devil will swallow you up, that’s clear."

He said the African culture calls for man to woman or one man with many wives, but same sex marriage, God forbid! "That is unacceptable and it will be resisted."

Nimba County lawmaker Prince Tokpah, said it is unfortunate that the Western leaders were now inducing developing countries with aid to pass or allow the practice of same sex marriage on the continent.

Tokpah said it is time for Africans to stand their grounds by resisting the "demonic offer" of the United States and Great Britain.

But some international commentators seem to have mixed views about the issue. One contributor quoted an excerpt from Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s latest book in which the Bishop thinks: "This is a matter of great justice.

The struggle against apartheid in South Africa was supported by people the world over, because black people were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about – our very skin.

It is the same with sexual orientation. It is a given. I could not have fought against the discrimination of apartheid and not also fight against the discrimination that homosexuals endure, even in our churches and faith groups." (page 54) and – "Equally, I cannot keep quiet while people are being penalized for something about which they can do nothing – their sexuality.

Full text of article available at link below –

Leave a Reply