State Department Expresses Concern Over Liberian President’s Defense of Law Criminalizing Homosexuality


Yesterday I posted video of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf telling The Guardian she won't sign any law decriminalizing homosexuality.

Said Sirleaf:

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

Today, the State Department expressed concern and said it would be looking into Liberia's treatment of LGBT people, the AP reports:

Administration officials have lauded Sirleaf as Africa's first female leader, and Liberia has received hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid since emerging from civil war last decade. But her comments are providing an early test of President Barack Obama's recent directive for officials to use foreign assistance and diplomacy to promote gay rights globally, even if the administration says it is not making foreign aid contingent on a nation's record.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. stood by its policy of aggressively promoting gay rights. But asked about Sirleaf's statements, just two months after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Liberia to attend Sirleaf's second inauguration, Nuland said the U.S. would be inquiring with Liberian officials to "find out whether the reporting is accurate and express some surprise and concern."

Added Nuland:

"I think if there were major pieces of legislation that discriminated against any group, we would have to take that into account in our relationship, and it would be a cause for concern."

Watch the video HERE if you missed it.


  1. uffda says

    Another Asshat Alert: Liberia’s Johnson (and it’s a hat more fitting than the one she has on.)

  2. Kevin says

    Not to get off topic – but I never knew of anyone who did clothes shopping at Crate and Barrel.

  3. Mark says

    I hardily agree with her. She should be completely preserved … in a vat of formaldehyde…along with that ‘hat’.

  4. says

    If we are giving this country ANY aide, funding or assistance we should stop immediately. Contact your elected officials and demand they end all government support. Countries have simply got to understand that religion does not govern their world – that democracy does that. If you decide to kill a segment of your citizenship then you are committing genocide and you should be held before the world court for such a crime. You should be removed from power and imprisoned.

  5. Phil says

    Bigotted Pres Ellen Sirleaf was the keynote speaker this year at the annual fundraising luncheon of the International Senior Lawyers Project ( and they give her a ton of free legal work. So does the law firm of Shearman & Sterling. Maybe time to tell these people to stop giving $100,000s of free services to bigots.

  6. Phil says

    “I want to thank you for the excellent support and advice which our team received from you throughout the period of negotiations in New York and for your continued support and advice in these last few days that helped us to reach a successful conclusion. . . I know that with your help we now have [an agreement] which we can proudly reveal to the nation that represents a significant improvement in the management of our natural resources and protection of our national interest.”
    — Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf regarding ISLP’s pro bono assistance with a mining agreement with the Arcelor Mittal steel company

  7. jack says

    If her gig as leader of Liberia doesn’t work out she can always get a job selling pancake mix. So shoot me. Its not politically correct. Am I the only one who thought that un-pc thought?

  8. Bob R says

    So Moms Mabley has one of those Nobel Peace Prizes, too? Boy, they’re pretty cavalier in the way they give those things out, aren’t they?

    Liberia was colonized by freed American slaves. It’s flag is very similar to the US flag, except it sports only one star. It was founded on American ideals, its capitol named after President James Monroe. The religious practices, social customs and cultural standards of the Americo-Liberians had their roots in the antebellum American South.

    The country is 85% Christian and the people who are only 59% literate are well schooled in religion, Bible study being taught in public schools. Commerce is prohibited on Sundays and Christian holidays. Liberia considers itself a “Christian” nation, so its attitude towards gays should be no surprise. The church will do all it can to keep the people well indoctrinated, once again proving that religion does in fact poison everything.