Akufo-Addo was sincere with his homosexuality comment – Group

General News of Sunday, 3 December 2017

Source: classfmonline.com

2017-12-03

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana

The Coalition Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia in Ghana, has said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was being sincere in his recent interview with Al Jazeera regarding whether or not Ghana will legalise homosexuality.

The president in that interview said legalising homosexuality is bound to happen if a strong case is made for it.

His remarks, which have been greeted with mixed reactions by the populace, sought to suggest that even though legalising homosexuality is not a matter on the agenda, it was bound to happen.

Critics say the president should have made an emphatic statement on whether he was for or against the legalisation of homosexuality and not give a vague answer which is open to various interpretations.

But a statement issued by the Coalition Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia in Ghana, said: “ The president’s assertion at the recent Aljazeera interview, that it will take a change in public opinion caused by advocacy to bring about decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ghanaian laws proved he was realistic and honest about the topic. He recognised that the issue cannot be dodged forever and at the same time invites for a conversation to be had, even if it would be in the long run.

“Although the coalition agrees with that assertion, we are of the view that the advocacy must go on now. We therefore invite for a fair and honest national conversation where all stakeholders are brought on board, where all views are respected and not bullied into silence and where divisive propaganda politics are not used to score political points. This is a topic about the humanity and dignity of a Ghanaian whose sexual orientation falls in the minority and do not therefore deserve to be treated with disrespect and abuse.

“For a nation striving to develop all hands must be on deck. The contributions of all Ghanaians, including the LGBTQ community must be encouraged and supported. This is why putting our brothers and sisters in jail for having consensual same sex encounters or relationships, rather than encouraging them to contribute meaningfully to society, is an injustice that must be addressed as a nation.”

Read Full statement below:

The president’s assertion at the recent Aljazeera interview, that it will take a change in public opinion caused by advocacy to bring about decriminalization of homosexuality in Ghanaian laws proved he was realistic and honest about the topic. He recognized that the issue cannot be dodged forever and at the same time invites for a conversation to be had, even if it would be in the long run.

“Although the coalition agrees with that assertion, we are of the view that the advocacy must go on now. We therefore invite for a fair and honest national conversation where all stakeholders are brought on board, where all views are respected and not bullied into silence and where divisive propaganda politics are not used to score political points. This is a topic about the humanity and dignity of a Ghanaian whose sexual orientation falls in the minority and do not therefore deserve to be treated with disrespect and abuse.

“For a nation striving to develop all hands must be on deck. The contributions of all Ghanaians, including the LGBTQ community must be encouraged and supported. This is why putting our brothers and sisters in jail for having consensual same sex encounters or relationships, rather than encouraging them to contribute meaningfully to society, is an injustice that must be addressed as a nation.”

As a coalition, we are aware of the likes of ‘pastors’ and other religious leaders who have recently graced the media because of their hate speech towards gay people. We believe that people should have the right to voice their opinions and beliefs for civil discussion, but they should not be allowed to incite violence, prejudice or harm of any kind to another human being or group of human beings because of who they are and who they love. You don’t like homosexuality, Fine, lead by example and don’t be gay then. Just don’t make gay people who believe in the existence of God feel that who they are is a major problem and an abomination in the eyes of God, and therefore hated by God Himself. Because the God that you religious leaders talk about we know is loving to all creatures including gays. So, pastors and imams, PREACH LOVE and not hate!

To fellow Ghanaians who after the President’s interview with Aljazeera are expressing a whole lot of negative views and discontent regarding the issue, note that not every Gay Ghanaian is affected by the hate you spreading and no matter how much hate messages you share on social media it will not change who we are. However, as a Coalition we do know that others, including LGBT youths are more sensitive to things of that nature and as a result some end up committing suicide and that is why we will continue to be the voice of those suffering silently and even taking their lives.

As a Coalition, we are also aware that in the mainstream Ghanaian media, the discourse on homosexuality is often biased, inflammatory and dishonest. The media always give titles to their reportages that are sensational and sometimes lead to the abuse of LGBT people. The question is, what other national issues were discussed during the President’s interview with Aljazeera? And why did the media prioritize and make so much noise about the President’s comments on LGBT and not so on the other issues discussed?

The Coalition appreciates the president’s remarks and contributions from a cross section of the Ghanaian society, because to us it is an indication that the nation recognizes the existence of the LGBT community here in Ghana, and recognizes that they are abused on a daily basis. The coalition is not calling for same sex marriage, neither are we calling for decriminalization of a non-exiting law. We are rather calling on the nation to put in place mechanisms that will protect the LGBT Community who are also HUMAN BEINGS from verbal abuse, physical abuse, arbitrary arrest, unfair expulsion from educational institutions, blackmails and in some extreme cases killing of innocent human beings just because they identify as LGBT.

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