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Liberian President backtracks on anti-gay comments

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  1. Har Davids 11 Apr 2012, 9:51pm

    What happened to the woman’s back-bone? Did she give in because of international pressure or is she afraid to lose all that lovely foreign aid, some of which is coming from gay people.

    1. jamestoronto 11 Apr 2012, 11:27pm

      Or losing her Nobel Prize?

      1. Or all of the above?

  2. Pretty feeble statement. She makes it clear that she is a homophobe and as far as I am concerned there is still a stain on her name and the honour of the Nobel prize.

    1. She remains a hateful. disgusting bigot.

      She is a terrible, terrible person who does not deserve her Nobel Prize.

  3. I hear Tony Blair is already taking credit for this one…

  4. Backpedalling …

    Is she going to repeal the crime of voluntary sodomy?

    Will Tony Blair take the credit if she does that?

  5. The churches in Liberia must be livid… eh, eh…

    Her turn-around baffles me, but at least now she is talking democratically.

  6. Perphaps PN can reproduce the ‘statement’ so itident s readers can see how twisted this report is. The statement I read only confirms what the president said earlier.that Liberians are like the way they are and would not change it. It stated that the President would not sign any law promoting gay rights and at the same time she is unlikely to sign any ‘extremist’ law against gay rights.

    1. Try reading around a little:
      Quotes President Sirleaf as commenting on antigay issues saying “I won’t sign any law that has to do with that area; one whatsoever.”
      Reports that when commenting on antigay issues that President Sirleaf insisted that she would not condone discrimination against any group, or impose her personal beliefs on the population.

      1. “President Johnson-Sirleaf has spent a lifetime in the struggle for freedom and civil liberties and will never condone discrimination against any group. At the same time, the President will allow the democratic process to take its course and let people discuss issues in an atmosphere of freedom and without fear. Liberia has a great level of tolerance and will be able to deal with these matters and the people will decide which way to go. As in any democracy, the President will not impose her personal beliefs on the people, but she reserves her constitutional prerogatives to stop any type of extremist legislation intended to marginalize or give a particular group of citizens a status because of their sexual orientation or practices.”

        1. Perphaps you should take up the challenge I gave to PN and post the entire statement here so that readers would read for themselves. That said, the bits and pieces you ve posted confirms my earlier post. i.e the President merely said she would not sign any law on gay rights and ‘reserves her constitutional prerogatives to stop ‘extremist’.legislation.

          1. If you read the stories reviewing the Presidents comments you will see that the claim is untrue that there is no anti gay law in Liberia.

            I tend to regard numerous African and international investigative journalists views on this as more reliable than a troll like Ken.

            Furthermore, Ken admits himself that the President said she would not sign any law on extremist legislation (which has been suggested by some politicians in Liberia). This Presidential statement (which Ken admits has occurred) is the backtrack on the comments she made a few weeks ago.

            Perhaps Ken should try dealing with facts and evidence rather than just perpetuating empty, meaningless rhetoric.

          2. If Ken had bothered looking at the stories I have posted he would see they cover most of the transcript of the comments and a reference to the entire transcript embedded within the stories.

            I note he demands an entire transcript – one is given – he ignores this, he then picks and chooses a small section of the Presidents commentary to try and make a point (which proves the exact opposite of the point he erroneously is seeking to make). Hypocracy from a troll (surely not!)

        2. “There are no anti-gay or anti-lesbian laws anywhere in Liberia. However, as in any country in the world, because of religious and cultural beliefs and behaviors that go back to the founding of the nation, there are laws that condemn certain sexual practices. These laws do not target any specific social and political group. We therefore do not have laws that are pro- or anti-gay. Some social activists want to introduce laws that make “gay marriage legal,” and some legislators want to bring in new laws that criminalize what they consider as “gay or lesbian sexual practices.” The President is on record as saying that she will veto any such legislation.”
          In other words, the president would veto any new law whether it is PRO or ANTI gay. This was the same thing she said during the earlier interview.

          1. “A spokesperson for Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on Wednesday reaffirmed an earlier statement that Johnson-Sirleaf has vowed to veto any legislation that would criminalize homosexual behavior in the Wast African country.
            The announcement comes after Johnson-Sirleaf drew fierce criticism for asserting, in a joint interview with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, that there were no anti-gay laws in Liberia, even if the country’s religious and cultural beliefs condemned “homosexual practices.
            This statement is at odds with a current statue that calls for up to a year in prison for what Liberian Criminal code labels “voluntary sodomy.’
            But in a statement Tuesday, Johnson-Sirleaf said that she would not condone discrimination against any group, nor impose her own beliefs on the nation country. I will never condone discrimination against any group,” she said, further adding that she would use her constitutional right to block what she described as “extremist

          2. legislation” that would marginalize people on account of their sexual orientation.
            This change in position is in stark contrast to the comments made last month, when in a joint TV interview with Tony Blair , Johnson-Sirleaf indicated she would not consider repealing the laws criminalizing homosexual acts in her country, and said, “We’ve got certain traditional values in our society that we would like to preserve … We like ourselves just the way we are.’ She accepted there are some anti-gay laws. When pressed, Blair refused to answer when asked what advice he would give President Sirleaf, instead deflecting the issue by saying: “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.”
            Now it is clear she has backtracked and refused more antigay laws, will she repeal those that already exist?”
            From Mail & Guardian, South Africa 11 April 2012

  7. If homosexuality is llegal, that is discrimination against homosexuals and bisexuals.

    Liberia needs to shape up.

  8. I would be happier if she stood up and siad that a full review of any anti-gay or any other laws which discriminates miority groups was to be undertaken

    1. Absolutely, I mean it is welcome that she says she will not permit any new antigay legislation (she needs to be held to account about this though)

      However, she also needs to remove existing homophobic legislation if she truly believes in fairness and equality.

  9. “In a statement released yesterday, the Liberian premier asserted that there were no anti-gay laws in the country, even if religious and cultural beliefs condemned “certain sexual practices.” Which is not strictly true because “voluntary sodomy” is punishable by up to a year in prison.” So, she’s an incompetent fool who doesn’t know the laws of her own country or she’s a liar.

  10. Sirleaf is a moronic bigot.

    Homosexuality is illegal in Liberia.

    Unless she campaigns to respect gay human rights, she should be shunned.

    Any country where homosexuality is illegal is a backward dump.

    Therefore Liberia is a backward dump.

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