Hit List Issued on Gays in Liberia

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com April 03 2012 6:02 PM ET

An antigay group in Liberia has reportedly issued a hit list reminiscent of the one that preceded the death in Uganda of a prominent activist as that country debated its "kill the gays" bill.

The Associated Press reports that a group called the "Movement Against Gay's in Liberia" is distributing a list of people suspected of being gay and followers have pledged to "get to them one one by one."

“Having conducted a comprehensive investigation, we are convinced that the below listed individuals are gays or supporters of the club who don’t mean well for our country,” the group wrote, according to the AP. “Therefore, we have agreed to go after them using all means in life.”

Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was beaten to death with a hammer in 2011 after a newspaper printed its own list of gay people. The newspaper's list of "100 Pictures of Uganda's Top Homos," which was accompanied by the words "Hang Them," made Kato the target of repeated death threat.s He was the advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda. His killer, who admitted to the crime and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, claimed it was in self-defense against sexual advances.

Liberian legislators are considering a bill that would criminalize same-sex marriages. The country already bans "voluntary sodomy" with penalties possible of up to one year in jail.

And the country's president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, recently defended the antigay laws.

“We like ourselves just the way we are,” said Sirleaf during an interview with The Guardian. "We've got certain traditional values in our society that we would like to preserve."

Sirleaf's comments received added attention because she is the winner of last year's Nobel Peace Prize for her work on civil rights for women.