By Alva M. Wolokolie from Bopolu City
A Pentecostal prelate, Bishop Dr. Stephen T.Y. Binda, has launched a passionate appeal to the Government of Liberia not to legalize “Gay Marriage” or what is also referred to as same sex marriage in the country. It may be recalled that powerful leaders like US President Barrack Obama, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Great Britain Prime Minister David Cameron have warned African leaders against the discrimination of same sex and at the same time imposing advocacy for the rights of gays and lesbians in Africa.
This pronouncement has claimed the attention of many African leaders and Liberia is no exception to it. There has been series of advocacies in the country from so-called campaigners that gays and lesbians’ rights should be respected here.
To their utmost surprise, many Liberians including the media have stood tall against such advocacies and described the practice as a western way of life which does not represent the African culture.
Since the pronouncement by western governments, there has been no definite position of the Liberian government on same sex marriage including the legislature whom many thought would have passed a law by now denouncing the act.
The matter has not been laid to rest yet. This time, a man of God and head of the United Pentecostal Church of Liberia, Bishop Dr. Stephen T.Y. Binda, has told the government that whatever is morally wrong cannot be politically correct because when God says it is wrong, it means it is totally wrong.
Speaking on the theme: “Righteousness exalts a nation” at the thanksgiving and intercessory worship service in observance of Liberia’s 166th Independence Anniversary held at the Bopolu Town Hall in Bopolu City yesterday, Rev. Dr. Binda appealed to several decision makers in government not to give credence to same sex marriage.
Serving as guest preacher for the worship service, Bishop Binda told President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, VP Joseph N. Boakai, Chief Justice Francis Kporkor, Gbarpolu County legislative caucus, members of the diplomatic corps comprising of US Ambassador accredited near Monrovia Debora Malac, and cabinet ministers that if a man decides to court another man, let him do so but the practice of homosexuality or lesbianism in this country should not and must not be recognized.
The clergy man said the blessing of a nation comes through the leadership and as such when a leader is righteous, the nation will surely be blessed.
“I have come to tell you to allow righteousness flow from the Executive Mansion, the Capitol Building and the Temple of Justice. Let righteousness flow. Please don’t legalize gay marriage in this country; don’t be afraid of anyone; God is with us,” Bishop Binda added.
Rev. Binda however encouraged Liberians to follow the spirit of Christianity and live upright with God. He told the congregation that nobody gets to power without the approval of God but if such person decides not to be righteous, God will definitely turn his back on that individual.
“Where is morality today in Liberia? Even in the office, when you stand for righteousness, they will kick against you but I encourage you today that God is so good; he does not let you down easily, just remain truthful; say your prayers every morning, day and night and wait on him,” Bishop Binda asserted.
Meanwhile, the Liberian Government has conferred honors on two Centenarians and 13 distinguished individuals, one of them posthumously, thus kick-starting the official celebrations of Liberia’s 166th Independence Anniversary.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Investiture Ceremony took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium in the presence of high-ranking government officials, diplomats, well- wishers and family members of the honorees.
In brief remarks, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is also Grand Master of the Orders of Distinction, paid homage to all of them who had served their country diligently and selflessly. She recognized family members and friends who had stood by the honorees to enable them to serve so well.
“I wish to thank all of you who have joined us in this event, in giving honor to whom honor is truly due. Many of them have served long years, sometimes under difficult circumstances, making great sacrifice for the development of our country to respond to the needs of our people,” the Liberian leader said.
Responding later on behalf of the honorees, the former National Chairman of the Unity Party, Dr. Charles Clarke, expressed grateful thanks and appreciation to the Government for recognizing them in terms of the contributions they have made to Liberia. “It is very important in our society that as an individual makes contribution they should be recognized,” the former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs said, adding that it was pleasing to each of them to have been selected to be honored. “We express to you our thanks and appreciation,” he stated.
Those honored included two Octogenarians–Mrs. Lottie Moore Jartu and Mrs. Rose Violet Micthell Benson –both of whom were admitted into the Most Venerable Order of the Knighthood of the Pioneer, with the Grade of Dame Commander; Dr. Charles Clarke, an eminent Statesman, and Madam Miata Beysolow, former Minister of Commerce & Industry, who were admitted into the Star of Africa, with the Grade of Grand Band.
Industrialist and Educator, Mrs. Letitia Gibson, and Missionary, Educator and Administrator, Dr. Myra E. Simpson, were admitted into the Star of Africa with the Grade of Grand Commander. Octogenarian Mrs. Mary-Eliza Cooper Horton was admitted into the Humane Order of African Redemption with the Grade of Dame Grand Commander.
Two other Octogenarian – Educator and Administrator, Dr. Melvin Justinian Mason, and Career Diplomat and Administrator, Ambassador Carlton Alexyn Karpeh–were admitted into the Humane Order of African Redemption with the Grade of Knight Grand Commander and Knight Grand Band, respectively.
Mr. James M. Garresen, dedicated public servant and Chief Executive Mansion Photographer, was admitted into the Humane Order of African Redemption with the Grade of Knight Commander.
Professional Artist, Producer and Culture Ambassador, Julie Endee, was admitted into the Humane Order of African Redemption with the Grade of Dame Grand Commander. Career Journalist, Mr. Philip N. Wesseh, was admitted into the Star of Africa with the Grade of Commander.
The late Managing Editor and Publisher of the New Democrat Newspaper, Mr. Tom Saah Kamara, was posthumously admitted into the Humane Order of African Redemption with the Grade of Knight Grand Commander. On hand to accept his award was his widow Rachel Kamara.
The Investiture Ceremonies will continue in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, during the official celebration of Liberia’s Independence Anniversary on Friday, July 26. Meanwhile, the intercessory service, marking the celebration was held yesterday in Gbarpolu.