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.