Main | Wednesday, March 21, 2012

State Department Concerned By Liberia

Last week Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who last year was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, refused to consider decriminalizing homosexuality. The U.S. State Department said yesterday that it is troubled by Sirleaf's position.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. stood by its policy of aggressively promoting gay rights. But asked about Sirleaf's statements, just two months after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Liberia to attend Sirleaf's second inauguration, Nuland said the U.S. would be inquiring with Liberian officials to "find out whether the reporting is accurate and express some surprise and concern." Nuland declined to specifically say how two bills on gays under consideration by Liberian lawmakers would affect U.S. assistance in the West African country, which was founded 165 years ago by freed American slaves. But she suggested that they could lead to a re-evaluation of certain programs.
Liberia is set to receive over $200M in U.S. aid this year alone.

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