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Liberian Priest Denounces Homosexuality in Easter Sermon

By Michael O'Loughlin

A Catholic priest in Liberia is urging that western African nation's leaders to take a definitive stance on same-sex marriage.

Rev. Ambrose D. Kroma, pastor of St. Kizito Catholic Church near Monrovia, delivered a homily Easter Sunday in which he noted that Liberia's president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has not joined her peers in other African nations in forcefully denouncing same-sex marriage, reports AllAfrica

The United States and other Western nations are increasing financial pressure on some African countries in protest of antigay laws, specifically those in Uganda and Nigeria that criminalize homosexuality and provide for harsh prison sentences.

In his sermon, Kroma suggested that Johnson-Sirleaf's silence on the issue was tacit acceptance of same-sex marriage, something already illegal in Liberia.

Earlier this month, the Catholic archbishop of Monrovia, Lewis Zeigler, warned that any acceptance of same-sex marriage could hinger Liberia's progress and undermine the fabric of society, according to AllAfricaSpeaking at the National Fast and Prayer Day hosted by the Liberia Council of Churches, Zeigler also denounced corruption and greed.

The U.S. State Department has warned that Liberia's "culture is strongly opposed to homosexuality."

Homosexual activity is illegal in Liberia, with penalties of up to one year imprisonment. In 2012 a Liberian senator introduced legislation that would punish same-sex marriage with death. That year Liberian Senate passed a bill criminalizing same-sex marriage, but the House of Representatives has yet to vote on it.

While the western African nation is about 85 percent Christian, only 6 percent of the population is Roman Catholic.

Follow Michael O'Loughlin on Twitter at @mikeoloughlin.

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