9 January 2012

Liberia: 53rd Legislature to Pass Gay Bill for U.S.$4 Million?

It has been disclosed in Monrovia that efforts are being exerted to ensure the enactment of a law by the 53rd Legislature, guaranteeing the rights of gays and lesbians in Liberia.

Information available to this paper revealed that the amount of US$4 million has been promised a few members of the 52nd Legislature, who are also members of the 53rd when the bill is introduced and passed.

A number of homosexual foundations or gay rights groups based in Europe and the United States led by the California-based 'Foundation for the Protection of Gay Rights' are reportedly already in close contacts with a few lawmakers, including House Speaker Alex Tyler and Rep. Edwin Snowe to ensure the success of the project.

The Foundation is expected to make available US$2 million to Mr. Tyler and Representative Snowe, if he (Tyler) should succeed in winning the speakership of the 53rd Legislature, for the purpose of lobbying with other members of the House for the passage of what is to be known as the "Gay Rights Bill".

An additional US$1 million will also be given to members of the Liberian Senate of the 53rd Legislature for the same reason. The name of the contact person in the Liberian senate was not made known.

But a representative of the current 52nd Legislature close to Tyler's speakership bid who pleaded to remain un-named in this publication disclosed to this paper that the amount of US$1 million was last Friday released to them for the campaign to re-elect Tyler.

According to him, Tyler was told to give each member of the incoming 53rd legislature (members of the House of Representatives) the amount of US$12, 000 as an inducement for his re-election so as to make the lobbying process less difficult when they shall have taken seats at the Capitol.

According to him, however, he (the Representative) and other colleagues only received US$1, 500.00 on Friday night following a meeting on the Monrovia-Robertsfield Highway in Paynesville.

Unconfirmed reports within the corridors of the Capitol building suggests that when the "Gay Rights Bill" is introduced, the California-based Foundation for the Protection of Gay Rights would release the amount of US$1.5m to Tyler and Snowe, as well as a few others within the Executive Branch spearheading the efforts.

The 'Foundation for the Protection of Gay Rights', a member of a coalition of Gay Rights groups, works around the world to sponsor organizations and other efforts that support the promotion and legalization of "same sex practices".

The information further revealed that all paper works have already been completed and may be in the possession of current Speaker Alex Tyler, but the result of today's election at the Capitol will either bring forth the actual funds or not. The introduction of the Gay Rights Bill is expected to commence immediately when the new lawmakers shall have taken their seats.

But some lawmakers who hinted this paper stressed that Tyler and Snowe were wasting their time, energies and misleading whatever gay foundation they were in contacts with because "Tyler will have to be elected before even thinking about introducing such uncivilized and uncultured bill".

"Some of us are already aware of this evil that is being planned by one to two of our colleagues; we think Tyler and those in this dirty deal must be publicly exposed if and only if they are into it," they noted.

When contacted, Speaker Tyler denied the reports. He termed the reports as mere politics intended to defame his hard-earned reputations. "I am a Methodist and a traditionalist; I will never support gay bill because it is damaging to the survival of the country," he said.

For his part, Rep. Snowe laughed the allegation out and said it was his first time hearing about such plan at the capitol, since the issue was raised by US President Barack Obama.

"The day they will bring gay bill, I will oppose it," Snowe said adding, "You can put me on record for that, I will never ever support gay bill, it is not good for our society."

Montserrado County Representative Edwin Snowe could not pick up his telephone when contacted by the New Dawn-Liberia on several occasions on Sunday. Last weekend, the man who led the burning the Norwegian Flag on December 10, 2011, Leroy Archie Pon-pon became the first lead campaigner for the rights of gays and lesbians in Liberia.

He noted that homosexuality was already being practiced secretly in Liberia as a result of fear in the absence of legal rights. Both the United States and British Governments have made gay rights as a condition for international aide the world-over.

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