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Nobel Peace Prize Winner Supports Gay-Bashing, Blair Looks On In Silence

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Supports Gay-Bashing, Blair Looks On In Silence

The Nobel Peace Prize winning President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has refused to support gay Liberians currently under sustained assault in that West African nation.

In a joint interview with Tony Blair for The Guardian she said:

“We like ourselves just the way we are.”

“We’ve got certain traditional values in our society that we would like to preserve.”

Over the past six months, life has become increasingly difficult for gays in Liberia. A bill has been introduced by the Senator wife of the war criminal Charles Taylor which takes advantage of and fans the anti-gay fervor underway. As with Uganda, contrary to claims, the Liberia bill does include the death penalty.

Pressed by The Guardian, Blair refused to comment. He was described by The Guardian as “looking visibly uncomfortable.”

At an African Union summit in January, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged African leaders to respect gay rights and to stop treating gay people as second-class citizens and criminals.

When pushed on the UN secretary general’s comments, with Sirleaf at his side, Blair responded: “I’m not saying these issues aren’t important, but the president has given her position and this is not one for me.”

Blair was on a visit to Liberia in his capacity as the founder of the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI), a charity that aims to strengthen African governments. “One of the advantages of doing what I do now is I can choose the issues I get into and the issues I don’t. For us, the priorities are around power, roads, jobs delivery,” he said.

The BBC reports that those few Liberians prepared to publicly advocate for gay people – not all of whom are gay — have suffered mob attacks or their relatives have.

But one activist, Leroy Ponpon, tells the BBC ”We will not relent; people will come to the realisation that in this day and age, individuals should be free to practice what they wish.”

Sirleaf was awarded the Nobel peace prize last year for her work in campaigning for women’s rights. The 73-year-old became Africa’s first female president in 2006 and was elected for a second term last year.

Related stories:

Liberia Introduces ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill

Is Ivory Coast Truly an Oasis for LGBT People?

3 Women Share Nobel Peace Prize

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Johnson Sirleaf image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to World Economic Forum.

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249 comments

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2:53PM PDT on Jul 25, 2012

Please support and sign the petition here:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Call_to_Revoke_the_Nobel_Peace_of_Pres_Sirleaf_of_Liberia_if_she_signs_antigay_Bill_1/

1:26AM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

It is a shame! This woman, who was awarded the Nobel peace prize last year for her work in campaigning for women’s rights, should be able to understand the suffering of people who are being persecuted even unto death for being LGBT, for being just the way the Creator made them. She should understand that discrimination and be a leader against it. Instead she is inflamming the situation.

There is no place in any civil society for this discrimination!

6:43AM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

I would like to start a petition to remove the Nobel Peace Prize from this woman. She is a disgrace to what the prize stands for.

5:40AM PDT on Mar 24, 2012

Okay, let me get this straight (no pun intended) she WON the Nobel Peace Prize?

11:51AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

...and???

11:20AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Ma che regole seguono per assegnare il nobel per la pace?

8:07AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Unfortunately the Nobel Peace Prize means almost nothing anymore since it has been given to this Trogladyte. But remember Barack Obama also got it before he even pretended to do anything for 'peace' and hasn't done anything for it yet, but continued the same war-like actions of his predecessors. He's done nothing for peace. Quite the contrary.

Arafat got it too. Maybe it's time to retire this 'prize' since it is more of a wishful thinking kind of PC 'gift' than a real acknowledgment of actual attainment. Too bad.

7:42AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

She is an ignorant bigot! I can't beleive she won that prize. They really must have lowered their standards that year...

6:07AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

Forget about gay rights... What about human rights?

12:40AM PDT on Mar 23, 2012

What does she think she is "preserving" by shunning equal rights for gays - an outdated, immoral mindset that causes those with something to hide feel threatened? What possible legitimate rationale could be behind anyone in their right mind supporting a law that kills gay people? This should not be something that a nobel peace prize winner should ever support.

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