I started a petition in January to speak out against escalating hate crimes and unrestrained hate speech targeting LGBTQ Liberians. In the space of a few weeks, the situation has intensified to extreme crisis.
Two draconian anti-gay bills were introduced in February calling for surveillance, inquisitorial public trials, genealogical background probes and lengthy jail terms for both LGBT people and LGBT activists. Dehumanizing hate speech explodes from every quarter of society, particularly the church, legislature and senate.
The LGBT Liberian community is under systemic attack, being surveilled, witch hunted, evicted, fired from their jobs and physically assaulted. Parents are kicking their LGBT children out of their homes fearing mob violence. The media is exploiting young LGBT people to publicly tell their stories for a few dollars, which has unleashed venomous hostility and forced them and many others into hiding.
This is post-war Liberia under our 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Other than saying through her press secretary in early January that there will be no gay rights, she has been utterly silent. We can only hope she’s positively working behind the scenes. But the situation for LGBT Liberians right now is critical.
Please stand against hate speech, violence, intrusive, cruel punitive laws and targeted hate crimes against the LGBT community in Liberia. Urge 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to veto the draconian anti-gay bills that have been introduced in the senate and legislature.