Liberia, Africa

Founded as a colony in 1822 by freed slaves from the United States, the area was already inhabited by various indigenous ethnic groups. In 1847, the colony of freed slaves declared independence as the Republic of Liberia. In 1980 the government was overturned in a military coup and from 1989 to 2005 Liberia was in a state of flux, witnessing two civil wars that displaced hundreds of thousands of people and devastated the country's economy. The November 8, 2005 presidential runoff election was won decisively by Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, a Harvard-trained economist. Hope for peace has returned. Homosexuality is illegal. A person guilty of "voluntary sodomy" has committed a first-degree misdemeanor. In Liberia there is an atmosphere of discrimination that exists toward homosexuals and there is a need to remain ‘underground’ to avoid potential acts of violence toward them.

 

News & Reports:

 

Homosexuality Is Not A Crime: Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone

During the recent visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Liberia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf responded to a question posed by a Canadian journalist about what her government was doing to protect members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT). She rightly responded and I couldn’t agree with her more ‘that it… Read more »

‘No Law Restricts Rights of Individuals in Liberia’ – President Johnson- Sirleaf

Monrovia – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Thursday made a very rare comment on homosexuality, saying that it was a matter of choice, and that it was not illegal to be a homosexual in Liberia. “Liberia has no law that restricts the rights of individuals to their own choices. Only when it is a threat… Read more »

US based Liberian gay rights activist calls for protection of their rights … cautions Liberians ahead of 2017 elections

A Liberian gay rights activist based in the United States has admonished Liberians to vote leaders in the pending 2017 general and presidential elections that will promote and protect the rights of all, including gay and lesbians in the country. Speaking in an interview with the GNN via mobile phone from the United States, Roosevelt… Read more »

Sweden to deport gay soccer player back to Liberia, where he will be jailed, beaten and raped

The Swedish government says they know Andrew Nagbe will face hardships in Liberia, but because they don’t believe physical beatings “are sanctioned by the state,” they are fine with it. Even as the “gayest” team in the Olympics, the Sweden women’s soccer team, advanced to the gold-medal match in Rio, we’ve learned that Sweden plans… Read more »

Liberia: Gay Practice On the Rise Here

A Montserrado County Senator has alarmed that the practice of homosexuality is on an unprecedented rise here, especially among young men. Sen. Doe Sherif indicated that some influential and economically powerful men and women in the Liberian society were using cash to induce young men to the practice gay and lesbianism. Speaking in Monrovia on… Read more »

LGBT Rights Organizing in Liberia Explored in UC Research

Professor Ashley Currier will present field research for the American Sociology Association on both pro-LGBT and anti-LGBT movements in Liberia. Ashley Currier, associate professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies at McMicken Arts & Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, will present research at the annual American Sociological Association conference this August. Her research, culled… Read more »

“It’s Nature, Not a Crime”

Discriminatory Laws and LGBT People in Liberia Biological sex: The biological classification of bodies as female or male based on such factors as external sex organs, internal sexual and reproductive organs, hormones, and chromosomes. Bisexual: The sexual orientation of a person who is sexually and romantically attracted to both women and men. Closeted/being in the… Read more »

Liberia: Condoms Compatible Lubricants Campaign Launched in Liberia

Over hundred stakeholders, including representatives of the Government of Liberia (GoL), the United Nations System and Civil Society Organizations are expected to participate in a one-day national consultation launching the Global Lube Mobilization (GLAM) Project and discuss Condom Compatible Lubricants (CCL) access relative to the prevention of HIV and AIDS. The consultation meeting is being… Read more »

Liberia: Same Sex Marriage Debate – Can’t Liberia Be Definitive?

The debate concerning gay practice or advocacy for same sex marriage, has loomed in Liberia for the past two years, involving ordinary citizens, leaders of both Muslim and Christian communities as well as the Executive and Legislature, but without legitimization of any national stance. After Western countries announced they accept gay activities and same sex-marriage… Read more »

Liberian Christians and Muslims campaign against gay marriage

Monrovia, Liberia — A few hundred Liberians representing the Christian and Muslim faiths and civil society organizations gathered here Saturday to launch a campaign to press the government to ban same-sex marriage. The campaign is seeking 1 million signatures supporting a resolution to ban gay and lesbian activities here. More than 25,000 signatures have already… Read more »

Liberia: Christians Launch Anti- Homosexual Campaign

Sporadic media and community-based comments against same-sex marriage in Liberia has now grown into a full-scale national advocacy with a group of Christian organizations formally launching what it calls, “No to the legalization of homosexuality” in the country. Under the auspices of the New Citizen Movement, Inc and in collaboration with the Church in Liberia… Read more »

Liberia: Gay War – Who Will Win And Why?

Homosexual practice has existed in Liberia for decades, according to some experts, but it has come to bitter public fight when a Liberian who claims not to be a gay assumed a pioneering proponent role for same-sex marriage this year. Entrenched traditional practices and religion on the one hand and deepening obsession for modernity and… Read more »

Liberian Senate OK’s Bill Criminalizing Gay Marriage

The Liberian Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a bill which would make marrying a member of the same sex a second degree felony in a nation where such unions are already not allowed by law. People found guilty of violating the law could face fees or prison sentences. The proposal was sponsored by Senator Jewel… Read more »

Liberia: Being Tolerant Is African, Too!

This week, homophobic rhetoric in Liberia once again reared its ugly head when a flier publicizing a “hit list” of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals was distributed in Monrovia. It appears that “kicking gays out of Liberia” as the flier said, is the latest pre-occupation in a country that has survived almost 20… Read more »

Liberian President backtracks on anti-gay comments

The President of Liberia, Nobel-laureate Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has vowed to veto any legislation that would criminalise homosexual behaviour in the country, despite having defended the law during a joint interview with Tony Blair. The interview, during which Mr Blair appeared to evade questions concerning a legislation that would criminalise homosexual acts in Liberia, drew fierce… Read more »

Hit List Issued on Gays in Liberia

An antigay group in Liberia has reportedly issued a hit list reminiscent of the one that preceded the death in Uganda of a prominent activist as that country debated its “kill the gays” bill. The Associated Press reports that a group called the “Movement Against Gay’s in Liberia” is distributing a list of people suspected… Read more »

Gay activists fight for human rights in Africa

The world listened last week as Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf defended her country’s laws that discriminate against its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex population. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, she spoke of preserving Liberia’s “traditional values” and said in part, “We like ourselves the way we are.” It’s a sad sentiment… Read more »

Vigilantes threaten to kill Liberian gay activist’s family

Joe Wiah reportedly hunted by armed men in Liberia over support for gay rights Armed men in Liberia threatened to kill a gay activist’s children if his wife didn’t hand him over, reported the country’s Daily Observer newspaper. The attackers stormed the Congo Town home of Joe Wiah in the early hours of 18 May,… Read more »

Nobel Peace Prize winner defends anti-gay laws

As traditional African society lurches its way slowly into a halting embrace with the modern world, few arenas create more tension than gay rights. Across the continent, being gay doesn’t just mean a constant struggle for acceptance. It usually means a constant struggle to stay out of jail or away from the lynch mob. While… Read more »

Liberia considers 2 anti-gay proposals

Monrovia, Liberia—Two new bills introduced into Liberia’s legislature would make the country the latest on the African continent to punish homosexuality with possible jail time. Liberian law currently does not explicitly address homosexuality. “Voluntary sodomy” is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, but there have been no recent convictions, according to… Read more »

Liberia: Gay Activist Escapes Angry Mob

Self-proclaimed Liberian gay activist Archie Ponpon, and few followers were Thursday narrowly hustled out of the premises of a local radio and television station by Police Support Unit (PSU) officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) in Monrovia, after over 500 members of the public had besieged the vicinity of the radio station to attack… Read more »

Liberia ex-first lady proposes tough anti-gay bill

Former Liberian first lady Jewel Howard Taylor has introduced a bill making homosexuality liable to a death sentence, amid a raging debate over gay rights in the country, a lawmaker said Wednesday. The bill submitted by former president Charles Taylor’s ex-wife, now a senator, also seeks to amend laws to prohibit gay marriage. “No two… Read more »

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… Read more »

Liberia: Gays & Lesbians Rights Vs Culture

Kids walk Tuesday Feb.7, through the charred remains of the home of Liberia’s emerging Gay Rights “activist,” Archie Ponpon’s mother, Agatha. Miss Agatha’s home got burnt recently through mysterious circumstances in a slum neighborhood located on 18th Street in Sinkor, Monrovia near the Atlantic Ocean. The home along with seven others belonging to neighborss according… Read more »

Liberia: Gay Law Rests With Ellen – Ngafuan

Foreign Minister- designate Augustine Ngafuan says the passage of any homosexual law in the country is squarely within the domain of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Mr. Ngafuan told the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee during his appearance for confirmation hearings last Friday in Monrovia that as Minister of Foreign Affairs he cannot make any decision regarding the… Read more »

Liberian Speaker rules out gay rights bills

The Speaker of Liberia’s House of Representatives has said no gay rights bills will make progress during his tenure. Alex J Tyler, a member of the Unity Party, told the Truth FM Breakfast Show that any law enshrining equal rights for gays would be immoral, All Africa reports. Tyler was recently re-elected for a second… Read more »

Gays’ Rights Not Country’s Domestic Agenda, Says Defense Minister

Liberia’s Defense Minister, Brownie J. Samukai has said prioritizing the rights of gays is not what he referred to as the domestic agenda of Liberia. The Liberian Defense Minister’s comments come in the wake of recent statements emanating from certain western countries and their leaders that countries in Africa must ensure that gays and lesbians… Read more »

Gay Liberia Reports 2008-09

Also see: Behind the Mask LGBT African website Republic of Liberia -capital: Monrovia -head of state: President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf -state: multi party -population: 3,042,004 (July 2006 est.) -independence: from Britain in 1847 -languages: English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages -religion: indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20% -currency: Liberian dollar (LRD)A Status of… Read more »