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OUT OF AFRICA

Liberian President Comes Under Attack Over Gay-Rights Stance

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is coming under renewed pressure in what appears to a growing movement to make same-sex marriage a felonious act, AllAfrica.com is reporting.

Sirleaf, something of an anomaly on a continent that is as religious and as virulently homophobic as Africa, made her moderate position clear in a Guardian interview last spring: while she won’t sign any laws now which steer the country toward a more pro-gay climate, shealso won’t sign any legislation that criminalizes homosexual conduct or same-sex marriage.

But for Liberia’s religious leaders, that’s not enough. The Rev. Dr. Kortu K. Brown, a Pentecostal minister, is spearheading the “No to Man Marrying Man, No to Woman Marry Woman” petition, the first effort in a campaign to pass a section of the Domestic Relations Law that would outlaw marriage equality. “Liberia is a religious country where 98% of the population is Christian and Muslim. They are the majority and that’s what democracy is about,” observed Brown.

Roughly 10,000 signatures have already been gathered in Monrovia and other regions. If and when the measure is passed by the Legislature, Sirleaf will find it nearly impossible to maintain her neutral stance.

 

 

  • 4 Comments
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      Human rights are not democratically determined. If they were, then African Americans would have only 14% of the rights and whites 86%, based on their numerical weighting.

      Of course equal rights are exceedingly difficult to claim when 98% of the population is against you, as in Libera, but that shouldn’t deter us from trying to win people over.

      Sep 6, 2012 at 10:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwrappaport
      jwrappaport

      To those who say missionary work is benign charity, here are the fruits of that charity several hundred years ex post.

      Sep 6, 2012 at 11:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kayakriver
      kayakriver

      @Derek Williams: democracy doesn’t work all the time.

      Sep 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Freddie27
      Freddie27

      Liberia is recovering from cvil war, is desperately poor and in the throes of the AIDS pandemic. Don’t they have bigger fish to fry than criminalising same sex marriage?

      Sep 7, 2012 at 5:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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