The Inquirer (Monrovia)

18 December 2012

Liberia: Vision 2030 Dodges 'Same Sex' Issue

Crafters at the just ended National Vision 2030 exercise in Gbarnga, Bong County have remained silent to address one of the most antagonistic issues in the country, same sex marriage which is commonly referred to as "gays or lesbians getting into wedlock".

During the plenary discussion, some of the delegates in the hall of the Gbarnga Administrative Building last week descended on the crafters of the Vision 2030 document for not addressing the introduction of homosexuality in present-day Liberia.

The delegates, most of whom were elders and youngsters from Nimba, Lofa, Grand Bassa and Bong Counties said they have heard that Western countries including the United States of America have warned African leaders against the discrimination of same sex and so it was prudent that such topic be a part of the agenda at the National Vision Conference.

Their position comes against recent statement by some gay advocates in the country calling on the government to respect gay rights. Several delegates took an exception and expressed fear that the failure to address same sex marriage may give the western governments imposition of advocacy for the rights of gays and lesbians in Liberia. The participants described the act as devilish and, does not represent a country that was built on Christian principles.

From the plenary discussion, trade and economy, corruption and nepotism, decentralization, middle income status, crime, identity and history of Liberia, disability concerns, reconciliation among others were highlighted but no comment was made about individuals poised to get involved into same sex marriage.

The delegates registered their concerns when the Co-Chair of the National Vision Steering Committee, Ms. Kula Fofana was serving as moderator on the floor during the plenary discussion.

Although the issue was raised but the committee members did not reply or comment on it but instead decided to go in detail with other items that were listed for discussion.

The delegates claimed that the same sex marriage was brought out during the nation-wide consultative meeting that took place in the 15 political sub-divisions of the country.

They expressed disagreement over the intervention of human rights group on the matter because it weakens the parents to control and have influence over their children. They said parents should be given authority to discipline their kids whenever they go against the norms of the society but human rights have caused them to be voiceless.

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