Government and Opposition MPs in the African nation of Liberia have urged President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to declare where she stands on the gay debate.
In an interview with legislative reporters on Tuesday, Rep. Henry Boimah Fahnbulleh, also former Secretary General of the UP, said:
“The President is not for nor is she against. What does that say? She needs to take a definite position on this issue.
“The fact of the matter is that the President has to take a definite position with respect to the gay issue. Where she chooses to stand in the middle-of-the-road will not speak well for us,” he pointed out.
“I am against gay marriage in our country. We should not allow the infusion of every western concept in our society. We need to make sure that our own tradition and cultures are protected,” Rep. Fahnbulleh declared.
The MP’s comments come despite Johnson-Sirleaf telling the Guardian newspaper that she supported Liberia’s current penalty for consensual sodomy of up to a year in prison, but was against any further criminalization of it.
‘We like ourselves just the way we are,’ Johnson-Sirleaf told the Guardian in March in a joint interview with Tony Blair, with the former Prime Minister left looking visibly uncomfortable by her remarks.
‘We’ve got certain traditional values in our society that we would like to preserve’ said President Johnson-Sirleaf.
Liberian MPs have drafted bills to significantly increase the penalty for homosexuality in the West African nation.
However Johnson-Sirleaf told the Guardian, ‘I won’t sign any law that has to do with that area. None whatsoever.’
A follow up letter to the Guardian from Johnson-Sirleaf’s office stated that no person had been prosecuted under the present law.