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General News of Saturday, 11 June 2011

Source: citifmonline

Homosexuals Have Rights Of Association - Ndebugri

Lawyer and former Member of Parliament for Zebila, John Ndebugri is challenging homosexuals in Ghana to go to the Supreme Court to enforce their right to freedom of association.

He threw the challenge to gays and lesbians on Citi Fm’s Saturday political talk program ‘The Big Issues’.

The subject of homosexuality came to the fore after news broke that some 8, 000 homosexuals had been registered in 2 regions with majority of them infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS.

The worrying aspect of the report was the fact that the homosexuals registered included students in junior and senior high schools (JHS/SHS), the polytechnics and workers.

Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye recently on Citi Fm, waded into the controversial subject where he called for a closure of all homosexual joints in the country intimating that the issue flies in the face of the country’s constitution.

But the former Zebila MP believes homosexuals like any other person are entitled to their naturally freedoms of association and no legislation should take that away from them.

He said “let us look at the definition of homosexuality very carefully, it has to do with feeling and as far as I am concerned, feeling is natural and I do not think that we can easily legislate against people’s feelings, you can not legislate that I stop liking T.Z (tou zaafi – a local dish), I’m afraid you can’t do that.

"They have rights under article 21-C of the constitution which says that ‘all persons have the right to freedom of association which shall include freedom to form or join trade unions or other associations national and international for the protection of their interest’.

"So those who are involved in homosexuality who think that it is right to do what they are doing come under this article.

"They must go to the Supreme Court to declare their rights openly and it will help us resolve this debate. It there is an international association of lesbians, they have a right to form a local branch”.

The comments of Mr. Ndebugri did not go down well with his colleague panelist, Bernard Monah who totally disagreed with him saying that the mere fact that someone has feelings to commit crime does not mean he or she can go ahead to do so.

According to the PNC General Secretary, Ndebugri’s argument that having a feeling for something is enough justification for legalizing it cannot be accepted.

He said “Our kids watch movies and they can have a feeling to take a gun to shoot somebody. That is a feeling they have. How can we say because I have a feeling wanting to shoot, I cannot not be legislated on it?

"I think that on the issue of homosexuality, those who believe in the religious angles have quoted copiously and enormously to substantiate that the issue of procreation is not in doubt and that homosexuality does not lead to procreation and therefore if you were to go into the world to multiply, what would be the place of homosexuals?

"As for rights, I think that in this world, anybody can claim any right but are all the rights justified and are they good for social cohesion?