Liberian gay groups ‘under attack’ over Ebola outbreak
Anti-gay rhetoric in Liberia has reportedly been stepped up since the outbreak of Ebola in the country.
A number of rights groups in the West African country report that LGBT people have become increasingly victimised over the Ebola crisis, with 2700 confirmed cases.
Leroy Ponpon of Monrovia said: “Since church ministers declared Ebola was a plague sent by God to punish sodomy in Liberia, the violence toward gays has escalated.
“They’re even asking for the death penalty. We’re living in fear.”
He added that local press have outed him publicly, and that he has to avoid identification in public.
He said: “In the day, we move around wearing sunglasses and disguises.
“The problem with moving at night is that it is not safe in Monrovia in the dark, and also, if you violate the Ebola curfew, it is punishable by imprisonment.
“Right now, all we want is protection. We want the government to come forward and say that this is a minority group and they deserve the same rights as anyone else and then people will stop attacking us.”
The country’s penal code already criminalizes ‘voluntary sodomy’, but the country’s senate discussed a bill in 2012 which would punish homosexuality by death.