Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner, said she didn’t favor the decriminalization of “homosexual acts” in her country Monday during an interview with The Guardian.
In Liberia, “homosexual acts” are currently punishable by one year in jail. However, pending legislation would increase penalities; making in same-sex relationships a felony with a punishment of up to 10 years in prison.
“I’ve already taken a position on that, we’re not going to sign such law.” she said. “I won’t sign any law that has to do with that area, none whatsoever. We like ourselves just the way we are.”
Sirleaf added: “Quite frankly, I’m not quite sure even if we are going to see a law go through our legislature on that. So I doubt seriously. We’ve got certain traditional values in our society that we like to preserve.”
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was in Liberia for a charity aiming to strengthen African governments, sat next to Sirleaf uncomfortably and declined to comment on her hardline position.
WATCH: Video from The Guardian, from March 19, 2012.