WhyCantWeGetMarried.Com Radio Interview Leading to Homophobic and Trans-phobic reaction in Sierra Leone

Published: November 14, 2011

WhyCantWeGetMarried.Com West Africa Regional Director, George Reginald Freeman was
invited for a radio discussion program on Tuesday November 8th 2011, at Radio Democracy FM
98.1, Freetown, Sierra Leone at 7:30 a.m. on the program titled “Good Morning Sierra Leone”
and was repeated on the same radio frequency at 9:00 p.m. on the program titled “We Tin Dae
Bi meaning What is Happening?”. The interview was conducted by Ahmed Sesay.
During the interview, George Reginald Freeman threw light on the acceptance of the Nigeria
same gender bill saying that, WhyCantWeGetMarried.Com as an organization has been a vital
partner to the campaign in Nigeria as we took active part in the signing of the petition on the
internet. As the conversation continued, George talked about mission, vision and objectives of
WhyCantWeGetMarried.Com in Sierra Leone, which involves advocating for Lesbian, Gay,
Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) rights and access to healthcare facilities in relation
to HIV and AIDS services.

In the program was also invited Mr. Henry Sheku, Communication Officer of the Human Rights
Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL), who said that, “the Commission is not working on LGBTI
human rights, because the law of Sierra Leone does not give the Commission mandate to
advocate and support LGBTI human rights”.

As the interview continued, the journalist asked what role Sierra Leone must play towards the
Nigerian Same Gender Bill; George responded that Sierra Leone must be 100% supportive,
because the LGBTI human rights are fundamental rights. Towards the end of the radio program,
most of the people sent several discriminatory text messages; and very few supportive. For
example:

· “Homosexuality is a taboo in the African society, anyone practicing or advocating for
LGBTI rights must be publicly stoned to death”
· “You should not have granted this gay man an interview, what a shame! This
organization must be banned and not allowed to operate in Sierra Leonean society”.
· The positive text message was “people are allow to practice their sexuality as it is
nobody’s business”.
After the radio program, Ephraim Bernard Wilson, Denzil Kargbo and George Reginald
Freeman (WhyCantWeGetMarried.Com staff members) were kicked out of their family houses
with harassment and homophobic statements by their family members. Bernard’s family said
that homosexuality is not accepted in Christianity; Denzil’s friends said that because of moral
values he needed to leave the house; and George’s family said that homosexuality is satanic
and a taboo to African culture so he needed to leave.

Full text of article available at link below –

Leave a Reply