Heritage (Monrovia)

11 January 2012

Liberia: No Bill Seeking Gay Rights Will Pass, Speaker Vows

J. Alex Tyler, the re-elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, has asserted that, under his gavel, no bill seeking to grant gay rights would be passed at the House of Representatives. The Bomi County lawmaker was re-elected as speaker for another six years after he overwhelmingly defeated his rival, Nimba County Rep. Ricks Toweh Monday in the race for Speaker of the 53rd Legislature.

Rep. Tyler got 46 votes, while Rep. Toweh received 24 votes. Speaking further, Speaker Tyler said although there is no bill at the House of Representatives, which seeks to legislate gay rights, passing such bill into law would be immoral.

He made these assertions Tuesday when he appeared on the Truth Breakfast Show on Truth FM. His assertions were in reaction to recent statement by the US Government calling on states around the world to legitimize gay rights. The rights of people practicing same-sex relationship or gay marriage is hugely demanded in Africa, with several western powers, including the United States and Great Britain leading the support.

Already, Ghana and Nigeria have made it a criminal offense to practice same sex marriage.

The Speaker's assertions also come on the heels of calls by self-styled gay rights activist calling for same sex relationships to be legitimized in Liberia.

But the Bomi County lawmaker maintained that it is immoral to legitimize the practice of gay marriage or same sex relationship in Liberia.

Meanwhile, Speaker Tyler among other things added that Liberia will need to "rethink its relationship with the United States" if the world super power presses on Liberia to legitimize gay rights as a precondition for bilateral relations.

However, it remains to be seen whether Liberia will follow the foot step of Ghana and Nigeria in maintaining its opposition against gay rights, as the debate for gay rights heightens.

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