General News of Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Source: myjoyonline

Gay debate is a trap to shift attention from Mahama's vision - Kpessah Whyte

Political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon says the debate on homosexuality is a trap to shift people’s attention from President Mahama’s vision and agenda of instituting a ministry that deals with social protection.

According to Dr. Kpessah Whyte, social protection has become a major paradigm that many countries are pursuing hence as a country “we lost an opportunity to ask the Minister-designate to explain what it is about so that individuals who are expected to benefit from this ministry will start positioning their dreams and vision along that line”.

Dr. Kpessah White was reacting to concerns raised by some religious and civil society groups after the approval of Nana Oye Lithur, as Minister for Ministry Children, Gender and Social Protection despite her liberal views about homosexuality.

Speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Monday, Dr. Kpessah Whyte maintained that the entire country has been drawn into "cheap trivialities" that do not bring any changes to the large majority of Ghanaians.

“There are more important issues that affect our people on day to day basis including the traffic that affect the education and healthcare system. Ghanaians are reeling under terrible pressure from all these ends and I expect the Minister to spend time addressing the issue on how the government intends to tackle them”.

He indicated that whether President Mahama is closely associated with the supposed gay lobbyist Andrew Solomon is immaterial.

“The substance of the issue does not deserve the attention the Minister gave it. Whether a gentleman from somewhere had a friendship with any individual in this country or not is immaterial. I don’t think he [Ayariga] should should spend precious time inviting media men [to justify to issue]” he added.

The political science lecturer said the hullabaloo about Andrew Solomon’s relationship with President Mahama is much ado about nothing because "homosexuality does not fit anywhere in our development discourse".

He stressed that even though Ghana’s culture and tradition abhors homosexuality, we must be careful not to be intolerant to people based on their sexuality.

Dr. Kpessah Whyte indicated that advocating for the rights of gays and lesbians is different from promoting it and thus he was certain that Nana Oye Lithur’s views has been misconstrued.

Commenting on the call for the resignation of Mahama Ayariga, the political science lecturer said it is premature.

He noted that as a human institution everyone is fallible and so the Information Minister should be pardoned for the gaffe.