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General News of Friday, 4 November 2011

Source: joy online

Oye Lithur: Homo hate speech not a solution

Human Rights advocate Nana Oye Lithur is unhappy with what she describes as hate speech against homosexuals by some Ghanaians.

She is particularly disappointed in religious leaders; some of whom she accused of leading the hate speech campaign against the homos.

The threats by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, to withhold aid to African countries which fail to respect the rights of homosexuals have, if anything, deepened the disdain people have for homos in the country.

The president, John Mills, vehemently resisted any attempt by the UK to impose any form of culture on Ghana, much less, homosexuality, using financial aid as bait.

The country’s Parliament in unison supported the president’s position and resolved to enact new laws that will clearly and unambiguously criminalise gay practice in the country.

The media have since been busy with religious leaders, civil society groups, serial callers, all venting their spleen on homos.

This, Nana Oye Lithur believes, could be detrimental. She told Joy News’ Dzifa Bampoh that public criticisms of homos must be measured.

She said Ghana is operating under a rule of law which enjoins that the rights of all persons, including homos, must be respected.

She said Ghanaians have every right to jealously guard their culture but must not do so at the expense of the rights of others.

Oye Lithur said religious leaders have an obligation to preach love to homos and not to preach hate against them.

She feared with the increasing emotional sentiments against homos, people might take advantage of the situation by physically assaulting or even killing people suspected to be homos.

She said as religious leaders preach tolerance to political leaders in the country they are obliged to use the pulpit to preach tolerance for homos and not hate speech.

She said pastors must live according to the biblical quotation of “love thy neighbour as thyself” in their dealing with homos.

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