Nana Oye Lithur: Gays Have Rights & Must Be Respected | General News 2011-11-04
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General News of Friday, 4 November 2011

Source: citifmonline

Nana Oye Lithur: Gays Have Rights & Must Be Respected

A Human Rights lawyer, Nana Oye Lithur, has stated that President Mills’ denouncement of gayism does not set aside the guaranteed constitutional rights of all persons including homosexuals in Ghana.

She said irrespective of the President’s abhorrence of homosexuality and Ghana’s cultural and social stigma against it, gays do not infringe on any legal or constitutional provisions while exercising their sexual preference. She said Ghana’s laws and Criminal Code are silent on homosexuality.

In his recent response to British Premier David Cameron’s aid cut threat to anti-gay countries, President Mills said decisively that he will never legalise homosexuality.

However, in an interview with Citi News on Thursday, Oye Lithur said the president is entitled to his opinion, but underscored the need to also respect the human rights of minorities in society such as gays.

“President Mills is entitled to his opinions and he is entitled to make statements for and on behalf of Ghanaians," she said. "We are guided by our 1992 Constitution that states that we are all equal before the law and every person in Ghana possess human right. So if we have homosexuals in Ghana once they are human beings they have human rights. ”

According to her, human right advocates are not calling for same sex marriages to be legalised but want Ghanaians to accord them the maximum respect.

“Nobody has asked for homosexuality to be legalised, from the law, what we as human right advocates are saying is that once the person is a human being and resides in Ghana we ask institutions to accord that person the respect as a human being."

She continued: “Not even the President of Ghana can deny anybody human rights irrespective of the person’s sexual orientation, ethnic group, gender and what have you. These are guaranteed in our constitution and everybody in Ghana has an obligation to respect that constitution. ”