Main | Thursday, February 23, 2012

LIBERIA: President Says She Won't Sign Proposed Anti-Gay Legislation

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says that she won't sign the proposed anti-gay bill now wending its way through the legislature. Last week the widow of Johnson-Sirleaf's predecessor introduced a bill calling for the execution of homosexuals. That penalty has apparently since been watered down to a mere ten years in prison.
A Liberian senator says the Senate will consider a bill to strengthen the West African nation's existing anti-gay laws. Senator Joseph Nagbe, chair of the Judicial Committee, says the bill will appear before Senate on Thursday. Liberia's former first lady, Senator Jewel Taylor, submitted a bill last week that would prohibit same-sex marriage and make homosexuality a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The current law considers gay relationships a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a punishment of up to a year in prison. If passed by the Senate, the strengthened bill would then go the House and then the president.
RELATED: Last year President Johnson-Sirleaf was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work on behalf of African women.

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