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Liberia Introduces ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill

Liberia Introduces ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill

 

Lawmakers in Liberia have introduced a bill that could make homosexuality punishable by the death penalty, reports say.

The bill, introduced by former Liberian first lady Jewel Haward Taylor who is now a senator, would also amend the country’s laws to specifically prohibit same-sex marriage.

Reports the AFP:

“No two persons of the same sex shall have sexual relations. A violation of this prohibition will be considered a first degree felony,” reads the proposed amendment to marriage laws.

First degree punishment can range from 10 years to life imprisonment to the death sentence, on the discretion of the judge.

Voluntary sodomy is already a criminal offence in the west African country and can result in up to three years imprisonment, according to a lawyer consulted by AFP.

George Tengbeh, a senator supporting the bill, said he hoped it would put an end to months of acrimonious public debate on gay rights.

It aims “to prevent the parliament from talking about such an issue that is against our tradition and culture,” he told AFP.

As Warren Throckmorton notes, a similar bill was offered in Liberia’s lower legislative chamber last week.

Via the Liberian Times:

Rep. Clarence K. Massaquoi (Lofa) introduced the draft bill on Tuesday, saying, Article 5 (b) of the 1986 constitution requires amongst others, the “protection of our cultural and traditional values”, which he said “should be preserved”.

He said the Act which will amend chapter 14 (d) of the New penal code in the country, will discourage the legalization of same sex practice by declaring it a “criminal offense.”

“I deem it expedient to introduce for your passage a bill entitle: An Act to amend the new penal code chapter 14 sub section d, and to add a new section 14.80…making same sex practices a criminal offense.

[...]

The bill, which if passed, prescribes punishment for anyone who engages in same sex practice “with or without the consent of the other partner,” has been sent to House’s committee room for “proper” perusal before enacting it into law.

The legislation appears to be a move to quell recent attempts by LGBT groups in the country to  have their rights recognized, something which provoked the Speaker of the House of Representatives in Liberia, Alex Tyler, to tell reporters: “I will never support a gay bill because it is damaging to the survival of the country,” and that any bill introduced in the House aiming to protect gay and lesbian rights would be “thrown in the ‘Du or Montserrado River’.”

However, the severity of the law and that it goes so far as to include the death penalty can only serve to remind of Uganda’s recently reintroduced Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, the legislation that has become infamous for its still present death penalty clause.

Said to have been inspired, at least in part, by American Evanglelical groups exporting their particular brand of homophobia to the country, it was always feared that Uganda’s war on its LGBT population might cause a domino effect whereby other nations in the region would begin similar onslaughts. There is evidence to suggest this has already happened. For instance Cameroon, already having severely anti-gay laws on its books, has since moved to “toughen” its stance on criminalizing homosexuality.

Related Reading:
Ugandan Ethics Minister Raids Gay Rights Conference
Ugandan LGBT Rights Activist Now Allowed UK Entry
Suspicious Burglary at Ugandan Gay Rights Organization

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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to brainchildvn.

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67 comments

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7:35AM PST on Mar 7, 2013

Such stupid people ,,it wasen't too long ago they were haveing a civel war ,and I sure they
had " Gays " on both sides ..

How stupid can people be to pass comments on orthers.

2:53PM PDT on Jun 11, 2012

http://www.change.org/petitions/ugandan-mp-stop-the-prosecution-of-homosexuality-in-african-countries Please help stop the Ugandan and Liberian "Kill the Gays" bills from continuing!

11:10AM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

The former wife of Charles Taylor, the massmurderer, mass rapist of Liberia, Jewel Taylor has no credibility in my eyes. Anything she says are of no value to me, be cause she decided to divorce Taylor due to restrictions by UN sanctions and his house arrest in another country. Not because of the atrocities he committed.

10:26AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

In response to Muslim countries not meaning well for minorities, etc.: The world seems to be in the grip of a religious fundamentalist revival. The US is no exception, eh, and both Muslim and Christian nations in Africa and other parts of the world are affected. Religious fundamentalism never bodes well for open minded discourse or acceptance of difference. It's scary. In the mild mannered Protestantism of my childhood it seemed the function of religion was to strengthen the good in us and help us struggle with the bad. I remember not one incident of being encouraged to hate or be intolerant of others for who they were or what they believed. Where did that go?

6:09AM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

homosexuality is not a western creation.it exists in any culture,regardless of outside influence.africa,WAKE UP AND TAKE YOUR HEADS OUT OF YOUR ASSES

6:07AM PDT on Mar 21, 2012

homosexuality is not a western creation.it exists in any culture,regardless of outside influence.africa,WAKE UP AND TAKE YOUR HEADS OUT OF YOUR ASSES

10:26PM PST on Mar 6, 2012

I watched andrew video on you tube. LOL so funny guy. As for the article I would have to say that if you choose to live in a socialist society then you must do what is social teaching much like in a dictatorship you have to do what the dictator says. Neither work. Both are failed ideas. Do you think that if it was a private issue then the they should have kept it private. I for one am tired of their pushing it constantly telling the world in technicolor.

8:52PM PST on Feb 20, 2012

Love is a human experience and not a political statement. --Anne Hathaway

12:18PM PST on Feb 20, 2012

Horrible!

12:03PM PST on Feb 20, 2012

Just another wacko country putting on the "gay"! Sick! Sick! Sick! Call the Liberian Minister to the UN in New York; telephone 212-687-1033 and let them know what you think. Africa as a continent seems to have more fools and dictators than what would should be considered acceptable to the world. Why would any one do business with this country? To the evangelcials from America who exported their hate; burn in hell!

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