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Opinions of Thursday, 19 April 2018

Columnist: Arthur K. Kennedy

Open letter to Theresa May

Madam Prime Minister,

RE: GAY RIGHTS IN GHANA

Like others in your former colonies, we in Ghana heard your apologies for the anti-gay laws you left on our books.

I will address the substance of your remarks with respect to Ghana but let me make two quick points. First, thanks for the example of your apology. It is refreshing because in Africa, our big men don't apologize. In Africa, when a big man offends you, you apologize!

Second, if half a century after independence, a former colony has not gotten round to removing a bad law, they are fully responsible for that law; you don't need to apologize for it.

Madam Prime Minister, you promised to help Ghana pass laws that would protect gays. That would not be necessary. All the anti-gay laws on our books before the promulgation of the 1992 constitution-- including the Criminal Offenses Act of 1960--are trumped by the strong Fundamental rights and anti-discrimination provisions contained in Chapter 5 of the Constitution.

Our President, who is a noted Human Rights Attorney could have told you that but he probably wanted to be chivalrous as African gentlemen are wont to be.

It would seem, Madam, that your apology should have been directed homeward to your citizens. It took the United Kingdom until 2007 to pass a law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Indeed, Madam, you have work to do to make the United Kingdom a safe place for gay people.

As recently as 2016, only 64% of your citizens approved of homosexual partnerships. Respectfully, should charity not begin at home on this issue?

Finally, since you are inclined to offer help, here are a few things you can do that would endear you to Ghanaians and our President: Sponsor our free SHS program for the next 5 years!

Support the construction of a garbage treatment plant that would rid Accra of filth!

Help get the University of Ghana Teaching Hospital up and running!

Madam, you know the President will not ask for these things because of his "Ghana Beyond Aid" obsession -- but he and Ghanaians will appreciate it.

Best wishes to Jeremy Corbin.

Sincerely,

Arthur K

(A Ghanaian citizen - not a spectator)