At New Narratives we believe discussing issues in a public forum is the first step to finding solutions that will protect the rights of all people. For that reason we are proud that are reporter, FrontPage Africa editor Wade Williams has done the first interviews with gay Liberians to run in the country’s press. Prior to Wade’s reporting no Liberian had ever come out to admit her or she was gay leading many Liberians to claim the country had no homosexuals.
Wade’s story came amid a firestorm in Liberia over the issue after President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told The Guardian newspaper that the government would not back down from harsh laws criminalizing homosexual activities in Liberia. The president’s statement prompted the US State Department spokesman to say the US might reconsider aid for Liberia (the second biggest recipient of US government funds in Africa) in light of the president’s stand.
Two bills being considered by the Liberian legislature would put steep penalties on those found guilty of homosexual acts. Wade had to work hard to convince her two subjects to talk to her. Her story introduced an important human element to the debate telling of the daily threats and difficulties faced by Liberia’s gay community.
Sadly Wade and FrontPage Africa received numerous threats after the story ran and the gay rights activists in her story have fled the country fearing for their lives.
See the story here.