Violence drama erupted over the weekend during a party organized by some group of gays and lesbians in the Monrovia suburb of Sinkor when onlookers and by passers angrily invaded with stone throwing and while others physically attacking some of the gays and lesbians for unknown reasons.
According to eyewitnesses, some residents of the area when the reported gays and lesbians was being held took exception of this event, following the arrival of some of the guests at the program many of whom were women and man being noticed of kissing (Woman kissing her friend woman, while men were also doing the same).
Our source who was at the scene during the early hours of the program, (on Sunday) some of the guests (Men) seen dressed in female under cloths, while others wore white suits in observing what was later on known as the 33rd birthday charity dinner 2019, of a group named ‘Saranna Frentera’.
The invitation obtained carries this description: Saranna Frentera @ 33 Birthday Charity Dinner, under the theme: “Love will be the best gift you can give yourself”
The order of ceremony detailed in the invitation states: ‘red carpet, cocktail, dinner buffer service, after party, and breakfast’.
Importantly, the party which was hosted at a house located on Chessmen avenue, between 15 & 16 streets, marked “Chessmen Avenue 82”, was described as “ venue: Monrovia DIC 16TH Street Sinkor, within the invitation obtained by contrary to its actual location description.
When our source contacted organizers of the Saranna Frentera 33rd birthday chirty dinner party through mobile phone numbers indicated on the invitation about the incident, an unnamed member of the organizing team acknowledged the invaders but refused to comment on whether the party was a gay party as alleged by onlooker and passerby.
At the premises believed to be rented House by pharmaceutical provider PSI, where the party was held could see cartoons of “Cupid”, a water based lubricant was seen litter all over the yard with table turned outside down.
Meanwhile, heavily armed officers of the police Support Unit –PSU, of the Liberia National Police, are still being deplored at the ‘Chessmen Avenue 82” premises where the ‘Saranna Frentera’ 33rd birthday charity dinner was held.
Same-sex sexual acts are illegal in Liberia, according to Liberia’s new penal law.
The New Penal Law 1978, amending the Penal Code defines ‘voluntary sodomy’ as a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a sentence of imprisonment for up to one year.
In July 2012, the Senate passed an amendment to the Domestic Relations of Liberia Bill, also known as the ‘Anti Same-Sex Marriage Bill’, in order to expressly prohibit same-sex marriage.
Another bill currently considered by the Liberian legislature, the amendment to the New Penal Code Chapter 14, aims to expressly criminalize same-sex acts between both men and women with a sentence of imprisonment for up to five years.
Although the ruling focuses on credibility, the US Court of Appeals supported a finding that a homosexual man in Liberia faced a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of his sexual orientation, after having suffered beatings in his country of origin.
The US State Department notes that the current law on ‘voluntary sodomy’ is rarely enforced. However, incidents of harassment and violence have been reported in the country. On 12 October 2013, according to the same report, two men in Monrovia were attacked by a mob on suspicion of ‘being gay’. Despite attempts to report the incident to the police, the two men continued to face threats and ultimately fled their homes.
More generally, Liberian culture remains strongly opposed to homosexuality, thereby forcing LGBTI persons to conceal their sexual identity, according to the US State Department. As Human Rights Watch explains in its 2013 report entitled’ It’s Nature, not a Crime, homosexuality is generally perceived as ‘un-African’ and immoral, and often imputed to Western behaviour espoused by the country’s privileged elite. Anti-gay sentiment and hostility towards LGBTI populations have been fuelled by both media and political discourse in recent years, according to Human Rights Watch.
Although same-sex conduct is already criminalized, the Liberian legislature has been considering more repressive legislation in recent years, according to Human Rights Watch; however, the ‘bills have been lain dormant in the respective legislative houses’ according to Human Rights Watch.
It may be recalled, Liberian ‘Gay Community’ during the celebration of International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, requested the government of Liberia for better equality, and partnership to end discrimination and abuse of their rights
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia, a single most important date for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) communities as they mobilize worldwide to draw the world’s attention to their plight and demand equal justice wherever they may be.
During the observance in Monrovia, on May 17, the LGBT community in Liberia called on the government, opinion leaders, policymakers and development partners to help end violence that is constantly meted out against them.
Speaking to newsmen, a members of the LGBT community said they are Liberians as everyone else is and, as such, they should be given equal treatment, protection and should not be discriminated against.
Adding his voice to the LGBT appeal was Mr. Evans Adofo, Program Officer of Stop AIDS In Liberia (SAIL), who said “We are aware that the African traditions exist, but also need to realize that they are African and their rights do not need to be violated. Again, Liberia has a discriminatory law, but the international community is saying don’t arrest or discriminate against them.”
According to him, SAIL is not looking at it from people behaviors, but from the rights aspect, which indicates that, despite what personality and gender traits, everyone should be entitled to their human rights.
The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia represents an annual landmark to draw the attention of decision-makers, the media, the public, opinion leaders and local authorities to the alarming situation faced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender and intersex people and all those who do not conform to majority sexual and gender norms.