In an effort to prevent same-sex marriage, the Liberian Senate passed an anti-gay bill into law on Thursday.
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has to review the bill and then sign it into law, provided that the House of Representatives also passes the bill.
According to Chancellor Joseph Nagbe, the Senate’s Chairman on Judiciary, the bill makes homosexuality a second degree felony, which means that violators can pay lower fees or face minimum imprisonment.
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Senator Nagbe also stated that any visitors in Liberia must abide by the laws of the country and that this law is no different. He said, "If you are gay or lesbian and you having to come here we expect you to behave orderly. That is, stay away from each other until your departure.”
Bong County Senior Senator Jewel Howard Taylor sponsored the Anti-Gay Bill. She has commended the support of her colleagues for the bill and highly anticipates an equal level of support from the House of Representatives.
The passing of this anti-gay bill prompts discussion about the social implications of homosexuality in many nations across the world, especially across the African continent. Many of these cultures have pre-colonial histories of same-sex relations. The gradual social shift to anti-homosexuality coincides with European imperialism, and this is only one of many negative effects of colonialism that are still prevalent.
The people of Liberia who identify as homosexual or any other non-heterosexual designation will face extreme emotional and physical difficulty if and when this bill becomes fully legal.