As if life weren’t already a living hell for Liberia’s LGBT population, Reuters reports that LGBT people are being blamed for the country’s Ebola outbreak that has killed around 5,000 people so far.
LGBT advocate Leroy Ponpon said “gays have been harassed, physically attacked and a few have had their cars smashed by people blaming them for the haemorrhagic fever, after religious leaders in Liberia said Ebola was a punishment from God for homosexuality.
Since church ministers declared Ebola was a plague sent by God to punish sodomy in Liberia, the violence towards gays has escalated. They’re even asking for the death penalty. We’re living in fear,” Ponpon said.
Liberia wasn’t exactly viewed as a sanctuary for LGBT people. “Voluntary sodomy” is a first-degree misdemeanor with a penalty of up to one year in jail, according to the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).
But Francois Patuel, Amnesty International’s representative in West Africa, was unaware of similar incidents in other Ebola-stricken countries in the region.