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Tony Blair Won't Comment as Liberian President Says She Prefers a Society That Throws Gays in Jail: VIDEO

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Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf tells The Guardian she won't sign any law decriminalizing homosexuality.

"We like ourselves just the way we are...We've got certain traditional values in our society we'd like to preserve."

The interviewer then turns to former British PM Tony Blair, and asks him about how he feels about Prime Minister David Cameron's recent statements to African leaders instructing them to respect the human rights of LGBT people.

Blair smiles nervously, but refuses to comment.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

PonponMeanwhile, in Liberia, Archie Ponpon (pictured) and Abraham Kamara, two activists with Movement for the Defence of Gays and Lesbians in Liberia (Modegal), have been confronted by angry mobs in recent weeks, causing them to seek safety at the police station.

When the two activists tried to get their organisation officially registered by the government, Mr Ponpon says their "article of incorporation was denied".

"We wrote to the president complaining, but she has not responded," he says.

The home of Ponpon's mother was burned down: "He suspects it was an arson attack by people who do not support his stance. 'Since this incident, my mother has been in hiding,' he says."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Tony Blair has been a joke for a long time. I'm not surprised he has no spine

    Posted by: Jmac | Mar 19, 2012 3:17:14 PM


  2. Oh Tony Blair, diplomacy is one thing, but stop being such a pussy!

    The world needs more people like the late Christopher Hitchens -- people who are not afraid to look someone in the eye and tell them politely that they are wrong.

    Posted by: Strepsi | Mar 19, 2012 3:17:29 PM


  3. So you are attacking Tony Blair rather than attacking the woman Prime Minister of Liberia, huh?

    Villify the straight white male for simply not commenting in a delicate diplomatic situation (even though he is pro-gay) and let the homophobic straight (feminist) black woman off the hook.

    Uh-huh.

    Posted by: Rick | Mar 19, 2012 3:22:20 PM


  4. How pathetic and embarassing...If this woman loves her traditional society and considers it superior to non-traditional society, why is she taking money from these same immoral societies...And if her society's traditions are so superior,why isn't it producing a superior society? Why is it that the majority of Africa is a hell hole that no one would wish on their worse enemy?

    Posted by: pedro | Mar 19, 2012 3:24:23 PM


  5. She was educated at Harvard. So much for the Ivy League and for Africa's first female president. And for someone who has been in office for too long.

    Posted by: Paul R | Mar 19, 2012 3:30:58 PM


  6. What? Dubya's poodle has no spine? I'm shocked!

    Posted by: Tone | Mar 19, 2012 3:35:47 PM


  7. Please !
    Tony Blair converted to Catholicism immediately after leaving office .
    So what the phuck do you expect ?
    The Catholic Church and the Evangelical Protestants have teamed-up to get the gays.

    And they have indoctrinated Africa.

    And no, I'm not paranoid.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 19, 2012 3:44:09 PM


  8. That was weak from Tony, it looked like he didn't want to say what he actually thought of saying because he didn't want to ruffle feathers. Now isn't the time to play nice, when lives are in danger.

    As for Ellen Johnson, just another bigoted buffoon whose way of thinking is damaging to the world and needs to be sharply condemned and stopped immediately before more blood is shed.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 19, 2012 3:44:45 PM


  9. Oh come on, Tony Blair is known to be pro-gay and has come out, so to speak, in support of PM Cameron's move to legalize gay marraige in the UK. What he said was that he recognized any response that challenged President Sirleaf's comments would be viewed as incendiary and would distract from his work with the Africa Governance Initiative - which was the task at hand. While some may not like his response, he handled the situation as an adult and diplomat. If you want to get angry at someone, get angry at Ms. Sirleaf.

    Posted by: Frank | Mar 19, 2012 3:49:13 PM


  10. Since he is a recently baptized Papist i'm not surprised Blair remained silent. As far as the Liberian President goes, that entire continent is a basket case and always will be.

    Posted by: dearcomrade | Mar 19, 2012 3:49:41 PM


  11. that wasn't a discussion at all! that was tony blair looking for his missing spine and balls. stunning act of silence in the face of bigotry. wow on so many levels. nobel committee should ask for its medal back.

    Posted by: laQas | Mar 19, 2012 3:50:03 PM


  12. I hate to break it to you guys, but gay marriage isn't the number one priority issue for everyone in the world, even among those who support it. Heck, it isn't even the number one priority issue for a lot of gays.

    Posted by: Sims | Mar 19, 2012 3:53:35 PM


  13. they didn't call him bush's lapdog for nothing.

    @sims: this isn't a gay marriage issue. it's an issue about being allowed to be gay without having to live in fear of imprisonment or worse.

    Posted by: alguien | Mar 19, 2012 3:57:26 PM


  14. For all the anti-Catholics, polls show that Catholics are among the most liberal religious groups in Western Society with some of the highest support for gay marriage...There is no need to bash all Catholics because Tony lost his balls.

    Posted by: pedro | Mar 19, 2012 3:58:23 PM


  15. It IS the number one priority for the vast majority of gay people in long-term, loving relationships.

    A comment from Blair would have been nice but we should not be attacking him. Catholic as he might be, Blair has a flawless record on gay rights - bringing civil partnerships to the UK and recently voicing his support for gay marriage.

    Sirleaf is the one who needs to be criticized.

    Posted by: Paul | Mar 19, 2012 4:01:37 PM


  16. It sure is the number one priority for gay Africans who don't want to be murdered for showing their faces in public.

    I'm tired of seeing so many African nations failing to take responsibility for their own future. Imperialism had a huge and lasting impact on the continent but there's a point at which African cultures cannot reasonably continue to point the finger at the white man and blame them for their present troubles. The corruption, despotism, lawlessness, and poverty are largely self-inflicted, by Africans, on other Africans. And this anti-gay bigotry is just another component of that blame game. All these so-called "leaders" characterize homosexuality as a Western concept--i.e., "un-African." They appeal to religion and tradition, just like the Christian and Muslim missionaries taught them to do. It is just another way for them to divert attention from the fact that they've played the guilt card for all it's worth, and despite all the aid that keeps rolling in, these countries have little if anything to show for it except sectarian and ethnic violence, as well as violence against women and sexual minorities.

    With the exception of a few pockets of civilization, the whole continent is a political cesspool. It's rich how they want to claim the moral high ground by condemning gays, and walking out of UN speeches in protest, as if they think their own s*** don't stink. Hate to break it to you folks, but EVERYBODY'S does.

    Posted by: atomic | Mar 19, 2012 4:07:19 PM


  17. Why is anyone surprised that Blair lacks the balls to stand up for human rights.

    For how many years, did he play a poodle for George Bush?

    Posted by: Continuum | Mar 19, 2012 4:21:09 PM


  18. How not surprising. Tony Blair makes his money (and he makes a lot of it) by selling consulting contracts to third-world regimes. Do you think he's going to piss off his customers by challenging their third-world mindset?

    Posted by: PaulR | Mar 19, 2012 4:22:04 PM


  19. Blair's a good Catholic, and a revolting human being.

    Pedro, liberal Catholics still give credibility to the Catholic church, and still provide the church with the cash it needs to carry on their bigotry (among other things we all know about) worldwide. That may be liberal for Catholics, but they're pretty conservative when looked at from outside.

    Nobody is born Catholic or is required to be Catholic. It's a choice one makes voluntarily.

    Posted by: Randy | Mar 19, 2012 4:26:07 PM


  20. Ellen Johnson sounds like a Communist. Communists like to use the word "we" when they really should be saying "we bigots". She's an oppressor of fellow Africans.

    Posted by: jason | Mar 19, 2012 5:18:28 PM


  21. Tony Blair is a fake who goes around making money from his Africa associations.

    Posted by: jason | Mar 19, 2012 5:19:35 PM


  22. Given the history of Liberia, it is quite amazing that Ms. Sirleaf denies rights to gays. But then, a major part of the Black Church in the U.S. does the same thing. I guess looking backward to see from whence they came is not a behavior that interests many previously oppressed people. Too bad.

    Posted by: Seamus | Mar 19, 2012 5:32:33 PM


  23. La President Bigot seems be wearing a table cloth made dress- she needs some gay help!

    Posted by: jaragon | Mar 19, 2012 5:32:49 PM


  24. A lot of people use to prefer a country in which African-Americans were slaves. Fortunately some people didn't agree with that barbarism and helped found a country for freed slaves. And that country is Liberia. Too bad that country has such a bigot for a president today.

    Posted by: jack leddy | Mar 19, 2012 6:08:55 PM


  25. "We've got certain traditional values in our society we'd like to preserve."

    Ms. Johnson, I think you mean your PRIMITIVE values. Is there any country in Africa, outside of South Africa that doesn't throw gays in jail. What a primitive God-forsaken place! It disgusts me.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Mar 19, 2012 6:36:13 PM


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