Liberia’s president and Tony Blair discuss anti-gay law
Nobel peace prize winner defends law criminalising homosexuality in Liberia
Exclusive: In joint interview, Tony Blair refuses to comment on Liberian president’s remarks supporting anti-gay laws
Tamasin Ford and Bonnie Allen in Monrovia
guardian.co.uk, Monday 19 March 2012 12.36 GMT
Liberia’s president and Tony Blair discuss anti-gay law. Link to this video
The Nobel peace prize winner and president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has defended a law that criminalises homosexual acts, saying: “We like ourselves just the way we are.”
In a joint interview with Tony Blair, who was left looking visibly uncomfortable by her remarks, Sirleaf told the Guardian: “We’ve got certain traditional values in our society that we would like to preserve.”
Liberian legislation classes “voluntary sodomy” as a misdemeanour punishable by up to one year in prison, but two new bills have been proposed that would target homosexuality with much tougher sentences.
Blair, on a visit to Liberia in his capacity as the founder of the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI), a charity that aims to strengthen African governments, refused to comment on Sirleaf’s remarks.