5A Nobel Winner, Ignoble Laws

Nobel Winner, Ignoble Laws

Declan Mills

ELLEN Johnson Sirleaf, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and current President of Liberia, joined Tony Blair (in his capacity as head of the African Governance Initiative) to give a joint interview to the Guardian newspaper on 19 March. During the interview, Sirleaf defended her country’s laws criminalising homosexuality and refused to consider scrapping them, saying “We like ourselves just the way we are”, a polite warning that she doesn’t consider human rights in Liberia any business of the West. All that Blair could do was sit and squirm in mute embarrassment.

Sirleaf also claimed that she was trying to preserve “traditional values” in African society. This is misleading; pre-colonial African cultures were tolerant of homosexuality, and modern African homophobia stems from the colonisation (and conversion to Christianity) of much of the continent during the Victorian era. In Liberia’s case, the colonisers were African-Americans, freed slaves who brought their Baptist and Episcopalian beliefs with them from the USA.

However, the fact that the freedmen who colonised Liberia in the 1860s had been taught that homosexuality was a sin is no excuse for their descendants believing it 150 years later. The Anglican Church tried to liberalise under Rowan Williams, the last Archbishop of Canterbury. So, what was the result of this attempt to catch up with the rest of the world? Anglican communions across the developing world formed a breakaway organisation, GAFCOM, and are effectively refusing to recognise Canterbury’s authority until the Church reasserts homosexuality’s sinfulness.

There is a greater context to the new laws. Sirleaf is leading a minority government and needs the support of other MPs to rebuild Liberia’s shattered infrastructure and administration. Until recently, Liberian homosexuals lived in secret but not in fear of their lives, but Hillary Clinton’s recent announcement that America’s development aid budget would be used to promote gay rights by tying funding levels to human rights records sparked an upsurge in homophobia across Liberian society. If Sirleaf decriminalised homosexuality she would destroy her political career and potentially end any chance of rebuilding Liberia within this generation.

The Liberian situation is part of a wider surge in homophobia across the continent. Even in South Africa, where homosexuality is legal, so-called ‘corrective rapes’ of lesbians are on the rise. It’s probably only a matter of time before an opportunistic ANC politician decides to distract attention from the allegations of corruption and racism surrounding the party by jumping on the homophobic bandwagon.

In the meantime, what can be done about Liberia? Sirleaf’s claim that it’s none of the West’s business is incorrect: Liberia is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human rights, which is considered legally binding. More to the point, if Liberia wants Western investment to support a Western-style parliamentary democracy, it should realise that respect for human rights is a prerequisite for such a system. Perhaps the simplest way to get across this message is by withholding development aid until the law criminalising homosexuality is repealed.

Share

Comments


About


'Nobel Winner, Ignoble Laws' have 42 comments

  1. June 23, 2016 @ 11:20 pm Michale Gumbs

    I want to install wordpress on one domain name but using that same wordpress have a select category come up under a different domain. Can there be a way to do this?.

  2. June 25, 2016 @ 7:08 pm Airport Transit

    This website is amazing. I will tell about it to my friends and anybody that could be interested in this subject. Great work guys!

  3. June 26, 2016 @ 3:16 am cara menghilangkan keputihan

    Magnificent web site. A lot of useful info here. I am sending it to some friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks on your effort!

  4. June 26, 2016 @ 4:07 am penyebab keputihan

    What do you think are the most effective standards of success for any blog? Audience? Quality? Will there be a romantic relationship between readership and quality?.. What did people with effective blogs do to make all of them successful? Was it a kind of “if you build it, they will come” thing? Perform they definitely market themselves? Do they associate themselves with other famous bloggers or websites? How does it happen?.. Do you have a blog? What should you do with your blog page? Do you think about yourself effective? Why?.

  5. June 26, 2016 @ 4:56 am menyembuhkan keputihan

    I am helping some friends get their shop in the map and noticed. They have a website. One of the ways within my research to optimize a web site is to use a blog. I am not really blog experienced and none are they therefore need just a little help concerning good sites to place there blog so they get noticed..

  6. June 26, 2016 @ 6:04 am daun yakon

    I feel this is among the so much important information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But want to statement on some common issues, The site style is perfect, the articles is in point of fact excellent : D. Just right task, cheers

  7. June 26, 2016 @ 8:04 am harga lantai kayu

    I need to earn a little extra money and We are an extremely opinionated person so I feel as if writing websites would be a great start to making some extra money. I have always been a full time college student and I also have a 20 dollars hour a week job yet I am still having issues making ends meet. Thanks for any help!.

  8. June 26, 2016 @ 10:33 am jasa desain rumah semarang

    How can I change to fluid breadth in the brand new Blogger Template Designer?

  9. June 30, 2016 @ 8:35 am cerita dongeng

    In Blogger’s new Template Developer there is no template which consists of fluid width in for the written text body. Will anybody understand how to change to fluid breadth in the brand new templates? Any kind of suggestions are greatly appreciated..

  10. June 30, 2016 @ 9:52 am hotel di yogyakarta

    Howdy this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  11. June 30, 2016 @ 10:46 am wisata yogyakarta

    How do I replace the background on my blogger/blogspot to what I want?

  12. July 5, 2016 @ 10:31 pm forex scalping ea free download

    I want to switch to a clean new WordPress theme to get a site, but Google offers indexed 2500 pages in the old site (mainly due to a appointments module making a new web page for each day). How do I make sure all those pages remain accessible for Google, without vomiting a “Page Not Found” when somebody tries to can get on after installing the new WordPress theme. The current site is content managed and is operating pHp..

  13. July 6, 2016 @ 12:15 am forex scalping strategy pdf

    Just how many blog post should i possess before we start promoting it?

  14. July 6, 2016 @ 2:36 am jasa pengiriman barang

    A friend includes a computer that turns by itself off after a certain period of time of lack of exercise. And all you need to do is move the mouse a little, and the computer returns on. Probably the computer is certainly not completely off, probably this is called hibernate or standby or something. Is this a good thing to perform or should I just let my pc run? How do you get the pc to do this auto shut off thing as We described at the start of this paragraph?.

  15. July 6, 2016 @ 3:12 am desain interior jakarta

    Will certainly computer technicians in the philippines be able to have a licensure test?

  16. July 6, 2016 @ 4:19 am followers for instagram

    What is a blogging site that allows you to synchronize with fb for responses?

  17. July 8, 2016 @ 4:20 pm daftar togel hongkong

    I’ve a WordPress blog page with Arras theme. This website strangely shows different on different computer systems. On several computers, I see all a few columsn, on other PC, I see just one. On various other PCs, some wiered things. Please somebody help me..

  18. July 11, 2016 @ 9:41 pm sinopsis drama jepang

    I am starting a business offering various baby things which i make. And I want to start a website in order to sell them on. Is there any others who could tell me the steps that I would need to go through to do this? And what is the cost?. Thanks a lot..

  19. July 11, 2016 @ 10:23 pm snmptn 2017

    I could write much better than the average person (not that is saying very much these days) and I possess strong views on different subjects. I don’t have experience as a journalist or specialized writer, but what does a person need to start running a blog and who have pays, if the tumblr gets indexed as a writer?.

  20. July 12, 2016 @ 12:42 am panselnas cpns 2016

    I would like to add a registration form to Joomla… I have to be able to modify the areas of the type.. The form needs to register people as users in Joomla, and trigger an CODE welcome email, as well as a notice to an admin about the registration… I’ve tried community builder, but you can’t deactivate things like username, which is irrelevant in my opinion, and the welcome emails won’t do HTML… Any recommendations?.

  21. July 13, 2016 @ 5:57 am outdoor decoration

    I think other web-site proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean and magnificent user genial style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  22. July 19, 2016 @ 2:14 pm resume template Microsoft Word

    What’s up with all the new WordPress dashboard??? I don’t know ways to work this!!!.

  23. July 19, 2016 @ 3:26 pm jual microwax,

    The right way to transfer my blog from blogspot to paid hosting?

  24. July 19, 2016 @ 4:47 pm jual alat pancing

    I have a managed WordPress blog page. For some reason, my blog posts are being sent out to followers of an additional blog. The other blog owners uses Blogger. We can figure out why or how this really is happening?.

  25. July 22, 2016 @ 3:25 pm mp3 gratis

    Anyone know of or have links to Australian copyright violation cases including photos or articles? Thanks.?

  26. July 24, 2016 @ 7:09 am The Best Waffle Maker

    Ok therefore i have appeared around a lot on this matter and I keep obtaining stuff like VNC (or VNSea) that allows you to access the computers on your WiFi network, but all of these require you to install something onto the computer alone. Is there a way to access the pc WITHOUT actually touching the computer?.. Thanks in advance!.

  27. July 24, 2016 @ 8:00 am Belgian Waffle Maker Reviews

    How to add a music playlist within my wordpress blog?

  28. July 24, 2016 @ 8:30 am Waffle Maker Reviews

    After I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. There has to be a means you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!

  29. July 24, 2016 @ 10:08 am funeral program template

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My website is in the exact same niche as yours and my visitors would certainly benefit from a lot of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Cheers!

  30. July 26, 2016 @ 11:49 pm Julianne Bernabei

    What sort of images are I ‘legally’ allowed to use in my blog posts?

  31. July 27, 2016 @ 1:38 pm Willena Fine

    Now i’m studying intended for my bachelors degree in computer science, and I would continue on to obtain a masters degree. I have my A+ and Network+ qualifications, and Now i’m planning on getting Linux, Network Security, as well as the Microsoft qualifications… Can I get a job doing computer forensics with this? If not, what must i do to improve my chances of getting a computer forensics job?.. Thanks. Somewhat more info: I do more programming than anything at all with computer systems, but Now i am pretty good with all the non-programming side too..

  32. August 3, 2016 @ 7:47 am Jual Dermaroller Murah

    I have a food blog on tumblr and I would really prefer to add a option to make it possible for people to print out my recipes. Any help? I have checked out the few places the web has up but they do not seem to be good nor work. Thank you..

  33. August 3, 2016 @ 10:17 am wisata lampung

    People post links to websites which have (for example) live streaming football and they nearly always have got. blogspot. in the link. Once i follow these there is just match information and ads, no soccer (even while i know the video game is being played). Do I need to set up something or sign up to something?.

  34. August 3, 2016 @ 11:24 am tempat wisata di jogja pantai

    For example , a movie’s down load link or a book’s ed2k links?.

  35. August 9, 2016 @ 7:48 pm Nasi Tumpeng 17 Agustus

    I like what you guys are up too. Such smart work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my web site 🙂

  36. August 9, 2016 @ 8:40 pm 18 inch rims

    I am looking to start a blog, though I how to start which is the best way to look about this. Several of my friends recommend buying a website from iPage, and then using WordPress. However , I feel that this is restricting. My following option can be through TypePad as it appears to have the amount of control preferred, though this really is relatively costly… So my question is as follows: What kind is a much better idea? What type would you individually use?.. Thanks a lot..

  37. August 14, 2016 @ 7:09 am obat kanker payudara tanpa operasi

    I have been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Reading this info So i am happy to convey that I have a very good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most certainly will make sure to don’t forget this site and give it a look regularly.

  38. August 14, 2016 @ 7:47 am obat asma herbal

    Hello, Neat post. There is an issue together with your site in web explorer, could check this… IE still is the marketplace leader and a huge component to people will pass over your great writing due to this problem.

  39. August 14, 2016 @ 7:56 am obat kista alami

    therefore basically, i want to down; oad one of those applications that makes your mouse pointer cool, but i may want it to screw up my pc… what’s high quality?.

  40. August 15, 2016 @ 8:59 am obat herbal kanker usus

    Exactly where can I take a creative writing class in Chicago come early july?

  41. August 19, 2016 @ 7:48 am Prediksi bola

    How to put in a new key to chrome navigation toolbar?

  42. August 20, 2016 @ 10:19 am Penyakit Jantung

    I was 15 and I want to begin a fashion blog. What must i call it? Also, please show me any guidelines you have got for getting began and what I could do on it or how to do it..


Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.

Images are for demo purposes only and are properties of their respective owners. Old Paper by ThunderThemes.net