General News of Saturday, 2 February 2013
The group calling itself the Concerned Clergy protesting the nomination of Nana Oye Lithur as Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection has not given up its crusade in spite of her approval by Parliament.
Spokesperson of the group, Rev Benny Wood told Joy News, Lithur is yet to be sworn-in by the President and there is more time for lobbying against her appointment.
Wood had petitioned Parliament to disapprove the President’s nominee of Gender, Children and Social Protection because of her liberal view on homosexuality.
Lithur has come to the defence of homosexuals, some of whom were beaten and threatened with death.
She told members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament she will do well to protect the rights of all Ghanaians, irrespective of their sexual orientation.
Her liberal stance has been criticized heavily with some members of the committee publicly accusing her of being evasive on questions about homosexuality.
Despite the many criticisms, the Committee approved Oye Lithur together with four other Ministers of State.
Rev. Benny Wood told Joy News her approval by Parliament is not the end of the road and he will still lead the campaign to have her disappointed by the President.
According to him, Parliament’s decision to approve her was hasty, adding, “We are not in a race to overtake anybody. We must do things that are acceptable to the majority of the people.”
He said the issue about homosexuality is not human rights but civic rights, insisting once the nominee has not received presidential assent he will still lobby to have Oye Lithur removed.
But a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Democratic and Governance (IDEG) Dr Kwasi Jonah, has come to the defence of Oye Lithur.
He told Joy News’ Evans Mensah, Ghanaians are simply being intolerant of dissenting opinions.
He explained the Minister designate is not asking for the promotion of homosexuality in Ghana. Rather, she is saying homosexuals like any other Ghanaian have a right which must be protected.
Citing examples in parts of the country where people are lynched merely on suspicion that they are witches, Jonah said it is time for people to be conscientised that no matter the crime or sexual orientation of another person, the rights of Ghanaians must be protected.
He said it is wrong for people to assume that Oye Lithur will promote the practice of homosexuality when appointed as Minister, adding people must learn to be tolerant.