UK feels obligated to ‘help’ Ghana change anti-gay laws - UK High Commisioner
The High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Ghana, Iain Walker has said his government owes itself and the world a right of duty to ensure that laws that set out to ‘intentionally or unintentionally’ discriminate against homosexuality are changed or new favourable ones created, MyNewsGH.com can report.
The High Commissioner passed this comments on GhanaWeb’s 21 Minutes with KKB over the weekend as monitored by MyNewsGH.com.
Mr Walker’s comments were in reaction to a question from GhanaWeb’s KKB about what might have prompted Theresa May, UK Prime Minister to offer to help Ghana change its laws to be more favourable and accommodating to homosexuals when President Akufo Addo participated in a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting hosted in London by the United Kingdom.
The UK High Commisioner said Theresa May’s comments were “within the context of LGBT rights”, adding that “it (homosexuals rights) is something that we the UK feel very strongly about”.
The UK High Commisioner becomes the second top diplomat of a powerful Western Nation to add his voice to the call for de-criminalization of homosexuality in Ghana.
Our readers will recall the words of the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson about two months ago, when he said he thinks Ghanaians are “myopic” on the subject of homosexuality.
He said Ghanaians’ attitude towards the subject reflects a "lack of understanding of the sciences”.
In the interview with Ghanaweb’s Kyenkyenhene Boateng, the US Ambassador had categorically replied to a question as to whether he holds the view that it is myopic to oppose the basic human rights of gays just because of their sexuality. The Ambassador had replied: “I do think it’s myopic. I think it reflects a lack of understanding of the science.”
The top US government representative said he thinks when Ghanaians against gay rights are given the opportunity to study about the subject, they will be in a better position to understand and appreciate the issues.
“I think that many of those Ghanaians if they study the issue they might come to a different conclusion,” the top diplomat told Ghanaweb’s KKB at the time.
In the same interview, monitored by MyNewsGH.com at the time, he said he believes gays are more pervasive in Ghana than Ghanaians would want to believe and called for the protection of their human rights.
Statistics indicate that probably 10% of people are born gay. I think there are far more gays in Ghana than Ghanaians realize but because of societal attitudes, they keep their sexuality very private,” the U.S envoy said. “We are asking that all people be treated the same; that they have the same human rights and the same rights to privacy,” added.
“I believe that everyone should enjoy the same human rights and personally I believe that people are either born heterosexual or homosexual. It is not a lifestyle choice,” Mr Jackson had said.
Mr Iain Walker, the UK High Commisioner also had this to add:
“Within the context of LGBT rights. Its something that we the UK feel very strongly about. We really believe there should be no discrimination based on sexuality. Well the UK helps creates laws, or change laws that will intentionally or unintentionally bediscriminatory. We feel responsible that the country changes those laws."