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General News of Sunday, 17 June 2018


Don’t discriminate against LGBTQ – Iain Walker tells Ghanaians

British High Commissioner to Ghana, Iain Walker was on '21 minutes with KKB' play videoBritish High Commissioner to Ghana, Iain Walker was on '21 minutes with KKB'

British High Commissioner to Ghana, Iain Walker, has advised Ghanaians not to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation.

According to him, laws in Ghana are for the people of Ghana and it is only Ghanaians who can decide whether to legalise homosexuality or not.

“In Ghana, its seems Ghanaians are very tolerant…I now understand that many LGBTQ people living in societies that they are not persecuted…they are accepted and there is a tolerance of it,” he stated.

Speaking to GhanaWeb’s Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng on ’21 minutes KKB’, Mr Walker said laws in Ghana were developed in what the people of Ghana believe in, therefore, the United Kingdom (UK) will not dictate to Ghana on what to do.

He said, “We are a country that works with Ghana, we don’t dictate terms to Ghana; that is not how we have ever been and that is not how we will ever be so I think as friends and partners, we should be able to discuss things that which we always don’t agree for that is the basis of friendship.”

“It is an important issue and one that we have strong views on but let’s not pretend that’s the only thing we care about. The big priority it seems to me is Ghana wants to move beyond aid, it wants to grow its economy, it wants to grow the development of its people and that should include all its people of different traits and colours and of sexual orientation,” Mr. Walker added.

The diplomat stated that as a representative of the UK government in Ghana, his role is to ensure Ghana and UK work together to among other things promote trade and bring in the right investors into the country.

The United State (US) Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson said earlier on ’21 minutes with KKB’ homosexuality is a tough subject to discuss because it suffered opposition initially in the United States, but people and leaders eventually embraced the practice with time after better appreciating the issues and science behind it.

Mr Jackson stated that he believes Ghana will get to that point eventually where citizens better appreciate the subject, understand the sciences surrounding it and accept the fact that homosexuality is not a choice of lifestyle as many perceive but rather a biological orientation.

“This is a long process and it was a long process in my country. Homosexual marriage has only become law in recent years and prior to that when I was growing up, nobody talked about homosexuality. Everyone who was gay suffered enormous discrimination and that has changed in the United States because people have a better understanding of the science and issues. I think that as Ghanaians gain a greater understanding of the science and issues, they’ll also be very tolerant because this is a very tolerant country and this is one area where Ghana’s tolerance seems very limited”.

‘Yes’, was his response to the question of whether his hope is that Ghanaians accept homosexuality in the next 10 years.

Regardless of his belief, Mr Jackson maintained that legalization of the practice is not as vital and significant to the American society as the guarantee of equal rights for all citizens with the same-sex orientation in the country such that no such individual or group of persons suffer violence and or discrimination as a result of their lifestyle.

“We are not asking that homosexuality be legalized, I want to be firm about that, I hope that within the next decade or so that every Ghanaian, regardless his sexual orientation will enjoy the same rights and be treated the same way”, he said.