General News of 2013-12-19

Minister endorses gay rights

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Dzifa Abla Gomashie has openly endorsed the idea of homosexuals having rights in Ghana.

According to Ms. Gomashie, homosexuals, in spite of all the negative practices they engage in, must be respected and treated like human beings with rights.

She said homosexuals should not and must not be shunned and stigmatized in the Ghanaian society.

“Shunning and stigmatizing them would be like relating to people living with HIV/AIDS who are complaining that they are being neglected,” Ms. Gomashie noted. The deputy minister was speaking at the launch of the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual and Family Values held in Accra under the Faculty of Divinity and Christian Leadership of the Emmanuel University College.

"The approach we Ghanaians have adopted in combating homosexuality in our society is wrong. We don’t use violence to solve a problem. We need to orientate homosexuals if we are not in favour of the act so that they can change for the better in a peaceful manner,” she said in an interview with DAILY GUIDE.

Touching on persons living with HIV/AIDS, the deputy minister noted that such people needed to be shown compassion at all times.

Meanwhile, Dr. Kojo Obeng, a psychiatrist representing Dr. Akwasi Osei, the national chief psychiatrist, said people should not discriminate against homosexuals just because they do not accept homosexuality.

“Not accepting homosexuality does not mean we should discriminate and persecute them,” he noted.

However, the minister’s endorsement of the rights of homosexuals did not go down well with other persons on the occasion who believed that the whole idea of homosexuality was offensive to the African culture.

For someone like Reverend Aryani Boadu, general overseer of the Jesus Generation Ministries, the idea of homosexuality is a threat to the Ghanaian society.

“If our judicial system tries to redefine marriage to include same sex marriage, it would be a great threat to our families, our societies and our communities,” he stated.

The President of Emmanuel University College, Moses Foh-Amoaning, said it was against the issues of homosexuality and negative Western influences that the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual and Family Values was being formed.

“The coalition is coming together to embolden our politicians to rise up against Western influences which include the menace of homosexuality,” he said.