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General News of Thursday, 31 January 2013

Source: radioxyzonline

"I will not promote homosexuality" - Oye Lithur

The Minister designate for the realigned Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (nee Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs), Nana Oye Lithur says she has no problem being the face of the debate on homosexuality in Ghana.

According to Mrs. Lithur, the debate on homosexuality and gay rights is a matter of importance to the society as a whole and must be debated until a common ground is accepted constitutionally.

Nana Oye Lithur was addressing controversial issues of human rights before parliament’s Appointment Committee during her vetting on Wednesday.

Known for her soft stance against homosexuals and gays, Mrs Oye Lithur was badgered and pelted with questions on her comments on many such issues from gay rights, abortion rights, dress codes for universities as well as the death penalty.

Asked a direct question by a member as to whether she is going to promote homosexuality, Mrs. Lithur responded: "No, I will not promote homosexuality," stressing "I have not said anywhere that I will promote homosexuality."

Mrs. Lithur said “I have never said homosexuality should be promoted or legalized. I stand for justice for everybody and what I said was that their rights should be protected. The rights of everybody including homosexuals should be protected.”

She said Chapter 5 of the 1992 Constitution guarantees human rights for all including minority rights and in her new post, she will do well to fight for less privileged people in society.

“I will continue to defend human rights of everybody. Today and Tomorrow, I will continue to defend human rights,” she said, adding there is no reason why people should attack her for raising a debate on homosexuality because sexual orientation is not included in the constitution.

“Let’s leave it to the society. It is not about my personal opinion but what the society wants… That is a debate that the country should have. That should be left to the country as to which way the country should go,” she argued.

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