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General News of Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Discrimination, religious beliefs choking balanced discussions of LGBTQ+ - Amnesty

Amnesty International has said that issues of discrimination and religious beliefs continue to limit healthy conversations on the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Intersex Rights (LGBTQ+) sexual orientation in Ghana.

According to the Acting Country Director, Frank Doyi, human rights are inherent and and so when we continue to use “constructions and suppositions and in a way that is derogatory to the people of this community, then clearly, we are violating their dignity.”

He was making these comments on the JoyNews channel during a program where Ghanaian journalist now with EuroNews in France, came out to publicly declare his gay status – a revelation that put to bed the many suspicions people had of him after it become news some years back that he had sodomized a university graduate.

“This is going to be the very first time, using your medium, to say that not only am I an activist for the rights of African Sexual Minorities [LGBTQ+] but I am gay; it is the truth that I have accepted, it is the truth that I will live by,” the former Metro TV journalist said on the program.

Reacting to his confession, Frank Doyi said that since the provision of Ghana's constitution protects all people and their rights to exist, then people of this sexual orientation should not be discriminated against.

“We have said time without number, at Amnesty International, we do not encourage or promote people in that particular act but we do not also believe that it is something that people deliberately, or all people, deliberately decide to engage in.

“Our position has always been this, that because they are human and because our constitution, Article 15, Clause 1, clearly states that human dignity is invaluable – the dignity of all persons, all persons underlined, is invaluable. And because of that, people must not be discriminated against because of who they are. These are fundamental human rights that our own constitution guarantees for all citizens.

“It is clear from the commentaries, that up until this time, Ghana doesn’t have a clear position on the subject matter and so all that people are saying are that our culture, our religions, our values, our norms, which we respect because we believe that our culture is very important.

“Our position is this: we should not allow for discrimination because our constitution is clear. The law does not permit for that person to be discriminated or denied their fundamental human rights,” he explained.

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