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General News of Sunday, 6 October 2013

Source: Kojo Smith

USA to support Ghana on gay rights legislation

The Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs of the United States of America, Mrs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has urged African countries to respect gay rights, no matter their sexual orientation. She also expressed the willingness of the United States government in helping Ghana to develop legislations that will protect the people of this nature.

The Assistant Secretary was answering questions from the Daily Graphic in the areas of partnership, which the United States of America has with Ghana, during a video conference beamed live from the State House, Washington, USA, in Accra on Thursday.

In her words: “The United States believes that all people are created equal – I am an Africa American, I have gone through the experience of being in a country where there were questions about that, so for us, it is unequivocal that regardless of people’s sexual orientation, regardless of their gender, we want all people to be treated with all the rights and protection of human rights that we expect from all countries.”

“So we are prepared as United States with very strong values in this area to work with countries in Africa to help them develop legislation that will provide human rights to its people,” she said.

It is a well known fact that Gay rights in Ghana are issues of national proportions, with very sharp opposition by the majority of its citizens. With a very rich culture and a religiously entrenched society; at different sects oppose the homosexual practice.

Even though the government is battling pressure from donors in the international community to legalize the act, the proposition still faces stiff opposition from the populace; of which, most of the time, have been made known through the various media outlets and on social media as well.

Over the years, people perceived to be homosexuals have either been stigmatized, mistreated by society and in many instances have been subjected to mob-justice as a form of punishment to deter others.

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