UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) called on Liberia to implement the international human rights treaties that it has already ratified, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and warned that laws criminalizing homosexual acts between consenting adults violate individuals’ rights to privacy and to freedom from discrimination. Liberia is in process of adopting a law that would impose penalties upon person(s) who “seduces, encourages, or promotes another person of the same gender to engage into sexual activities.”
"Atmosphere of Intimidation"
“We are also concerned about the atmosphere of intimidation and violence against gay and lesbian activists, as well as reports of attacks against them. Such harassment illustrates the difficult, discriminatory environment in which gay rights activists are operating,” according to OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani. The draft legislation, which has already been passed by the Liberian Senate but is still being considered by the House of Representatives, makes homosexual behaviour a second degree felony for which people can be fined and imprisoned for up to five years.Sodomy, voluntary and involuntary, is already a criminal offence under Liberian law. However, Ms. Shamdasani stressed that the proposals under consideration, including one to explicitly prohibit same-sex marriage, could make an already bad situation for lesbian and gay people in Liberia even worse.
Stigmatization's Negative Implications:
“Legislation criminalizing homosexuality can have a seriously negative impact, not only on gay and lesbian people, but also on the most vulnerable populations, such as people living with HIV, sex workers, refugees and internally displaced populations, who might be in need of special attention but will not come forward due to the high risk of stigmatization, discrimination and possible violence,” she told a news conference in Geneva.Read our Blog for Film: "LGBT-Ending Criminalization & Discrimination"
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