The Committee on Judiciary and Gender, headed by Reps. J. Fonati Koffa and Julia F. Wiah, are reviewing a law to make same-sex marriage a criminal offense in Liberia.
The proposed law is an act to amend the new Penal Code Chapter 14, Sub-chapter D and to add a New Section 14.80, making same-sex sexual practices a criminal offense.
The amended law received its first reading on Tuesday, November 12, 2018, during the 5th day sitting of the House of Representatives and was forwarded to the Joint Committee to report Tuesday, November 20, 2018.
Lofa County lawmaker Representative Francis Nyumalin proffered the motion, which was amended by Representative Isaac Roland, that the Joint Committee should consider Same-Sex sexual practices as not only criminal but a first-degree felony – which is non-bailable and punished by imprisonment for life or for any term of not more than 10 years.
Lofa County Representative Clarence Massaquoi, the proponent and sponsor of the amended law, said it is intended to preserve the African culture.
However, the issue of same-sex marriage remains complex and controversial. It has raised human rights and constitutional law issues, as well as a lot of social, religious, moral and political questions.