Gay Rights Debate Heightens
Public debate here on call for the legalization of homosexuality continues to attract acrimonious responses, including condemnations with report that the man leading the campaign for the legitimization of gay and lesbianism Archie Pon-Pon, narrowly escaped death Wednesday, on the Fendell campus of the University of Liberia outside Monrovia at the hands of angry students.
The debate for gay rights here has also received international in puts with some contributors seeing nothing wrong with the promotion of same sex union here, at least since this paper publish an article suggesting that gay activists were bend on pushing a “gay bill” through.
On the home front three lawmakers of the 53rd Liberian Legislature have vowed to resist in the strongest term, if a gay and lesbian bill is introduced in the Chamber of the House of Representatives.
Grand Kru County Representative George Blamoh Wesseh; Nimba County Representative Prince Tokpah, and Bong County Representative Edward Karfiah separately said, they will make sure that anything that looks like gay and lesbian rights bill will be kicked out of the Capitol Building.
Representative Wesseh said it is unacceptable and beyond the thinking of ordinary citizens to imagine same sex marriage in Liberia. “It is demonic and evil. It actually beats my imagination for any young man and woman to think of same sex marriage; are they real human beings or what?”
Speaking to the New Dawn Thursday at the Capitol, he said the Liberian society is not prepared to introduce or sustain the legality of gay and lesbian practice. “If you were to go in my little village in Grand Kru County and talk about same sex marriage, you will face the wrath of the residents; it is punishable traditionally just for saying it in the public.”
Adding his voice, Bong County Electoral District #5 Representative Edward Karfiah, said the issue of gay and lesbian rights in this contemporary era is harmful and dangerous for the young generation of Liberia.
“We know that everyone should have the right of association but to the detriment of our society, culture and tradition, then it is no more right, but evil only intended to reduce the population of our country.
Look, if you as a journalist went in my town Suakoko, in Bong County and talked about same sex marriage, I can assure that you will have questions to answer from our traditional leaders because our devil will swallow you up, that’s clear.”
He said the African culture calls for man to woman or one man with many wives, but same sex marriage, God forbid! “That is unacceptable and it will be resisted.”
Nimba County lawmaker Prince Tokpah, said it is unfortunate that the Western leaders were now inducing developing countries with aid to pass or allow the practice of same sex marriage on the continent.
Tokpah said it is time for Africans to stand their grounds by resisting the “demonic offer” of the United States and Great Britain.
But some international commentators seem to have mixed views about the issue. One contributor quoted an excerpt from Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s latest book in which the Bishop thinks: "This is a matter of great justice.
The struggle against apartheid in South Africa was supported by people the world over, because black people were being blamed and made to suffer for something we could do nothing about - our very skin.
It is the same with sexual orientation. It is a given. I could not have fought against the discrimination of apartheid and not also fight against the discrimination that homosexuals endure, even in our churches and faith groups." (page 54) and - "Equally, I cannot keep quiet while people are being penalized for something about which they can do nothing - their sexuality.
To discriminate against our sisters and brothers who are lesbian or gay on grounds of their sexual orientation for me is as totally unacceptable and unjust as apartheid ever was." (page 55) Great words from a good man.
However, Chris Sossou, another contributor disagrees. He says “Homosexuality is more of physiology than biology. Color of skin is completely Biology dependence. Hence, fighting for a black man's right to live willfully & peacefully in every society is not the same thing as fighting for gay&lesbian right to wed.
These are two distinct subjects which need to be addressed separately! Example, a person can be coached/mentored to be a homosexual/heterosexual (I have friends who were straight but are gay or gay but now straight) but a person cannot be mentored to be black.
Your race is biologically determined. It's not only evil or illegal to discriminate base on biology, it's immoral! Obama and his administration need to stop the hypocrisy.
Obama himself is ambivalent about the subject so I do not understand why he is obliging others to do that which he himself is not certain about, which is to legalize gay union, calling it marriage. I have nothing against homosexuals, they are among some of the nicest and generous people I know.
I concord with Mrs Clinton that gay right is human right in the sense that gays & lesbians are like we all, humans! Nevertheless, the right to marriage is reserved for people of opposite sex: male & female!
Everyone is free to play the game of soccer as one pleases but to change the rules in one's favor is not only a cheating but it is morally wrong. Likewise, people are free or should be free to be homo or heterosexual but to alter or change the definition of marriage is not only the wrong thing to do but a morally irresponsible thing to do.
My brothers and sisters, lets not sell the only thing we have, our moral integrity for some peripheral gain. Remember, money comes and goes but the decisions we make last forever!! Message to Obama...
The right to live, to have clean drinking water, and a shelter is a basic human right, which if withhold can have a detrimental effects on society. Which is morally wrong, withholding aid from millions of hungry children because of one's political ideology or refusing to legalize gay marriage based on one's moral integrity?
On the other hand Reason disagrees. He says “Chris: Personal experiences cannot systematically gather data and tend to not reveal the full truth. Your experience may be due to the fact that people are not necessarily homo or hetero, but there is a lot in between, and often people shift between the two.
True, mainstream scientific opinion nowaydays accords a role to socialization in becoming homosexual. But the great majority of cases is considered to result from genetic factors, mother stress levels during pregnancy, or a combination of both - meaning that people are born with a homosexual or bisexual orientation and cannot change it, no matter how much they are mentored or how much they try.”
Pon-Pon, also a student of the UL, had gone on the campus to rally more support from fellow students on the need to petition members of the 53rd Liberian Legislature to introduce a bill, seeking the protection of the rights of gay and lesbians in Liberia, but met the wrath of his colleagues when they began to stone him with missiles from various directions, sending him on his heels.
Meanwhile, at the Fendell Campus on Wednesday, Pon-Pon took off with a terrific speed from the main Science College Building after student threw missiles at him in total disapproval of his gay rights campaign. The gay rights activist is said to have sustained bruises on his body, while escaping the anger of his colleagues.
“He is lucky that we didn’t handle him; it would have been a different story by now”, remarked one male student Thursday onboard the bus enroute to Fendell.
Another said God created woman to be a sexual partner to man, adding but it was inconceivable and an abomination for man to deviate from God’s plan and go after his fellow male for sex.
Debate on the issue came to the limelight after news broke here that there were pro-international gay organization were bent on enticing lawmakers here to enact gay rights law.
However, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Alex Tyler, has denied the report. Speaker Tyler said if such bill, seeking the legitimization of homosexuality were to reach the Capitol Building; it would be thrown out immediately.
A local Christian group, Pastoral Network, said it is indecent and uncivilized for Western nations to make legalization of same sex marriage a precondition to providing aid to Africa.
But one contributor Myles MacLean, reminded Liberians that “There are and will always be gay people in every nation and people of this world! For a government to deny them their human rights and to deny their own cultural heritage is despicable! Religion has no proper place in any society and to use that foolishness to deny equality for gay people is the reason Aid Suppliers are putting pressure on your government.
Treat people as people. Wake up and smell the coffee. For a newspaper to publish such a disgraceful editorial (referring to The New Dawn) is disgusting! Have you no sense of right and wrong?”