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Group formed to legalize Same Sex marriage in Liberia

Archie Ponpon, Liberian Gay rights activistArchie Ponpon, Liberian Gay rights activist
January 9, 2012

In the wake of the US and British government’s recent pronouncements that they will use aid and diplomacy to ensue the promotion of gay rights, including legalization of same sex marriage around the world, a new group has been formed in Liberia to support the British and Americans' positions.

Called the Movement for the Defense of Lesbians and Gays Rights in Liberia, the new group says it has set out to advocate for the legalization of same sex marriage in Liberia, in order to make the country the first in West Africa to come up with such a law.

“This issue has to do with fundamental rights. A man or a woman has a right to do what he/she wants to do—If he wants to marry man let him marry man, if she wants to marry woman let her marry woman," said Mr. Archie Ponpon, the group’s Executive Officer in an interview with West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR) on Monday.

But the positions of the Americans and British had come under stiff criticisms from various parts of West Africa, with people describing the homosexual practice as Western and being against African tradition and culture.

Ghanaian President John Atta Mills last November said no one can deny Prime Minister Cameron his right to make policies, take initiatives or make statements that reflect his societal norms and ideals.  But he does not have the right to direct other sovereign nations as to what they should do especially when their societal norms and ideals are different from those existing in his society.

“I, as president of this nation will never initiate or support any attempt to legalize homosexuality in Ghana” President Atta Mills noted.

“The implementation or the utilization of that aid will rather worsen our plight as a nation or destroy the very society that we want to use the money to improve,” the Ghanaian leader added.

But the head of the new gay and lesbian rights movement Ponpon, who declined to say whether he is a gay or not, told WADR gays and lesbians “are real people in Liberia.”

He said their marginalization must end now, through the enactment a Same Sex Marriage law by the country’s parliament.

WADR’S Reporter in Monrovia Daniel Nyakonah first asked Ponpon why he was venturing into the promotion of Same Sex Marriage in Liberia, where the practice is widely seen as Western values.

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