Despite stiff international lobby to discourage the passage of a section of Liberia’s Domestic Relations Law making same-sex marriage a felonious act in the country, Liberian Christians are leaving no stone unturned to make Government stay the course and quickly pass the bill which articulates the matter but has been dusting in House Committee room since the Senate tendered it for concurrence. When passed by the Legislature, the burden would be on the laps of President Sirleaf currently sandwiched between upholding her human rights credential with the larger international community on the one hand and demonstrating adherence to her religious values and African traditions on the other. But before she would ever decide, the President’s Christian kin and kith are doing all within their powers to hold her to her moral roots--soliciting thousands of signatures from around the country perhaps to say that she got no excuse for not objecting to same-sex marriage. The Analyst reports.
The Liberian Christian community, or a section thereof, has launched what it calls signature exercise over the weekend in the Point 4 Community in Monrovia. The group heading the exercise calls itself the Anti Gay Rights Campaign team.
Accordingly, the exercise was intended to gauge the perspectives and receptivity of local residents to the campaign and to ensure that homosexuality remains illegal in the country.
Held under the, "No to Man Marrying Man, and No to Woman Marrying Woman” and led by Rev. Dr. Kortu K. Brown, campaign is aimed at affirming and cleaving to the traditional marriage union between a man and a woman as the only recognizable and legal definition of marriage in the country.
Rev. Brown used the campaign ceremony to urge Liberians to stand up for their faith and beliefs by rejecting subtle means by lesbians, gays, bi-sexual and transgender practitioners and supporters to promote and legalize same-sex practices in the country.
The astute Pentecostal cleric and executive committee member of the Liberian Council of Churches, who has been in the vanguard of meeting social needs for the past 22 years through various outlets, clarified that the intent of the campaign was to also strengthen the hand of the President of Liberia on the country’s position on same sex marriage.
“Liberia is a religious country where 98% of the population is Christian and Muslim. They are the majority and that’s what democracy is about,” the chairman of the Board of the Pentecostal Fellowship Union of Liberia said.
Also speaking, Rev. Dr. Jasper Stephen Ndaborlor, President of the Pentecostal Fellowship Union of Liberia (PFUL) who is also pastor of the Monrovia Free Pentecostal Church in Sinkor, told residents in the community that the purpose of the campaign is to ensure that Liberia doesn’t legalize same-sex marriage because of the influence of the “international community”.
“We cannot fight the international community”, he averred, “but gay or lesbian right is not a human right.”
The executive director of the New Citizen Movement, Inc., Rev. Cleopatra J. Watson called upon Liberians to lend their support to the campaign to ensure that gay or lesbian practices are not legalized in the country.
“We are fighting for our children’s future”, she said, adding, “our children are already going astray, legal homosexual practices will be the worst thing to allow them to be engaged in”.
In varying comments, signees’ comments were mixed on the issue of same sex marriage.
The majority support the campaign. “This is wrong”, a male in his fifties working with the LEC said. “I want to be a part of this campaign. We cannot allow this bad thing to happen to Liberia”.
Some were skeptical arguing that whatever the campaign does, people in government who want the practice legalized will have their way.
“I am against gay business but I will not sign,” a mechanic worker said. “The people will still force this thing down our throat and nothing will come out of it”.
One photographer argued that “even though am anti-gay, I want to be neutral”. A female in her early thirties rushed to the signature table from New Kru Town to inquire what was happening.
“What am I hearing so? That man should marry man in the Liberia? The men are not plenty already and many women without men then how can they bring this kind of thing in the country?”
Qualms with the church in Liberia
One pastor queried the church for initiating incomplete programs. “Every time the church starts something it doesn’t end it. Look ‘Liberia for Jesus’ prayer crusade is no more and we don’t even hear about the signature campaign to make Liberia a Christian state again. I hope this is not the same thing,” he said.
Signing in Totota
Bishop Albert Miller of the Universal Church of Christ International simultaneously led the signature campaign in Totota on Saturday, September 1, 2012. About 2500 letters were given out for signatures to field workers who are also pastors and community volunteers who are scattered in the field collecting signatures under the pilot scheme.
The anti gay rights campaign is not a just a Christian initiative even though it’s being led by church leaders. It’s a Liberian initiative involving Christians, Muslims, etc. The Bible forbids sodomy. The Koran does the same. In fact the Koran calls for the stoning to death of perpetrators. Church leaders have finalized a position statement to be presented to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of Liberia affirming the Church in Liberia’s position against same-sex marriage in the country. The Statement commends the House of Senate for passing a bill against legalizing sodomy in the country.
Since the launching of the pilot signature campaign, about 10,000 signatures have been gathered in the Monrovia areas and beyond. The campaign is currently active in 13 of the 15 counties.
The anti-gay campaign team is calling on Liberians to kindly support the campaign by contributing to photocopying 100,000 or more letters, transporting and communicating with volunteers in the field. Calls are also made for citizens to volunteer to ensure the success of the campaign including the formal launching ceremony.