Sierra Leone says no to gay marriage

2011-11-09 10:17
Freetown - Sierra Leone's political and church leaders on Tuesday ruled out legalising same-sex marriages in the West African state, after a British threat to cut aid to nations not recognising gay rights.

Deputy Information Minister, Sheka Tarawallie told reporters that "it is not possible that we will legalise same sex marriages as they run counter to our culture".

He was responding to a warning from British Prime Minister David Cameron last month that London may withhold aid from countries that do not recognise gay rights.

Speaking at a Commonwealth summit in Australia, Cameron stressed that "we want to see countries that receive our aid adhering to proper human rights, and that includes how people treat gay and lesbian people".

The President of the 500 000-strong Methodist Church in Sierra Leone, Bishop Arnold Temple echoed the information minister's objections to Cameron's warning.

"The church in Sierra Leone will do everything possible to protect democracy but our values will not accept the call from British Prime Minister, Mr Cameron for countries in the Commonwealth like Sierra Leone to accept the practice of lesbianism and gayism," the bishop said.

"We call on the government of Sierra Leone to inform the British leader that such practices are unacceptable and we condemn it totally," the cleric added.


"Africa should not be seen as a continent in need to be influenced by the demonic threat as our values are totally different," he stressed.

Cameron's comments also drew widespread criticism among ordinary Sierra Leoneans.

Taiwo Colem a 70-year-old grandmother, asked "are there not enough women in the world to ensure a man does not have to marry another man"?

But gay activist Ronald Tucker from the 'Why can't we get married' group countered that "nobody has the right to stop us from engaging in same-sex marriages".

"The British prime minister should call the bluff of African States by withholding all financial assistance until they agree to enact laws protecting same sex marriages," he said.

During his comments to Commonwealth Summit on October 30, Cameron admitted that change would not happen overnight, saying: "They are in a different place from us on this issue... I think these countries are all on a journey and it's up to us to try and help them along on that journey."

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    david cameron  |  sierra leone  |  west africa  |  gay rights publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

UK expert: Boks ‘have KO game’
Ireland hold on to down Italy
As it happened: Ireland 16-9 Italy
All Blacks sympathise with England
Traffic Alerts

It is time to focus on your daily rhythm. Are you putting too much attention on future projects and neglecting the day to more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.