Newspaper claims Liberian parliamentarians given money to pass pro-gay law

Behind the Mask reports that a Liberian newspaper, The New Dawn, is claiming that US$4 million has been promised to members of the Legislature to ensure the enactment of a law guaranteeing the rights of gays and lesbians in Liberia.

The report filed by reporter, E.J.Nathaniel Daygbor, and published on the newspaper’s website on Monday January 9, 2012, claims that a number of homosexual foundations or gay rights groups based in Europe and the United States led by what it calls “the California-based Foundation for the Protection of Gay Rights” are reportedly already in close contact with a few lawmakers, including House Speaker Alex Tyler and Representative Edwin Snowe to ensure the success of the project.

[An internet search for the above-mentioned foundation proved fruitless]

The news report claims the Foundation is expected to make available US$2 million to Tyler and Snowe, if Tyler is re-elected as speaker of the in-coming 53rd Parliament. The money, the paper claimed, is for the purpose of lobbying with other members of the House for the passage of what is to be known as the “Gay Rights Bill.”

According to the report, an additional US$1 million will also be given to members of the Liberian Senate of the 53rd Legislature for the same reason. The newspaper reported that the name of the contact person in the Liberian senate was unknown.

The newspaper also reported that “a representative of the current 52nd Legislature close to Tyler’s speakership bid, who pleaded to remain un-named, disclosed that the amount of US$1 million was last Friday released to them for the campaign to re-elect Tyler.”

According to the newspaper’s unattributed source, “Tyler was told to give each member of the incoming 53rd legislature (members of the House of Representatives) the amount of US$12, 000 as an inducement for his re-election so as to make the lobbying process less difficult when they shall have taken seats at the Capitol.”

The source claims that he and other colleagues only received US$1, 500 last Friday night.

According to the newspaper, “Unconfirmed reports within the corridors of the [Liberian] Capitol building suggest that when the “Gay Rights Bill” is introduced, the California-based Foundation for the Protection of Gay Rights would release the amount of US$1.5m to Tyler and Snowe, as well as a few others within the Executive Branch spearheading the efforts.”

The newspaper claims that “the ‘Foundation for the Protection of Gay Rights’ is a member of a coalition of Gay Rights groups and works around the world to sponsor organisations and other efforts that support the promotion and legalisation of ‘same sex practices’.”

According to the New Dawn, “When contacted, Speaker Tyler denied the reports. He termed the reports as mere politics intended to defame his hard-earned reputation. ‘I am a Methodist and a traditionalist; I will never support gay bill because it is damaging to the survival of the country.”

The newspaper said that Snowe “laughed the allegation out and said it was his first time hearing about such plan at the Capitol, since the issue was raised by US President Barack Obama. ‘The day they will bring gay bill, I will oppose it,’ Snowe said adding, ‘You can put me on record for that, I will never ever support gay bill, it is not good for our society.’

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