The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community in Ghana has put out a proposition to Parliament to consider opening a referendum for the public to vote in order to decide whether rights of members of their group should be recognized or otherwise in the country.
Spokesperson for the LGBT Community in Ghana, Philcollins Agbedanu Kröger hailed US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson for enlightening the Ghanaian populace on the state of the group in the country on GhanaWeb’s 21 Minutes with KKB.
The Ambassador hinted in the interview that “there are far more gays in Ghana than Ghanaians realise, but because of societal attitudes they keep their sexuality very private”.
In an interview with BBC Reporter Favour Nunoo, the group noted that they are poised to prove there more Ghanaians who are gay than anticipated, most of whom are hiding following fear of arrest, medical abuse, discrimination and torture, thus affirming Mr. Jackson’s observation.
Philcollins Agbedanu Kröger further accused Speaker of Parliament Prof. Mike Oquaye of being unfair towards the group while reacting to a statement the latter had made stressing that Ghana would not legalise homosexuality.
“… he’s not being fair to the gay and lesbian community in Ghana because when it comes to human rights, one person does not speak for the whole nation. Gay and lesbian rights legalization is not an individual issue… he can bring it on board for them to discuss it in Parliament, he can also call for a referendum and then people will vote,” he stated.
The posture of the LGBT Community is borne out of the US Ambassador’s statements in a recent interview with GhanaWeb. Touching on the subject of homosexuality on the show ’21 Minutes with KKB’, Mr. Robert P. Jackson said though it was a tough subject to discuss and was met with a lot of opposition initially in the United States, people, leaders have to accept and eventually embrace the practice with time after better appreciating the issues and science.
He believes Ghana will get to that point eventually where they better appreciate the subject, understand the sciences surrounding it and accept the fact that homosexuality is not a choice of lifestyle as many perceive it, on the contrary, is scientific, people are born as such.
“This is a long process and it was a long process in my country. Homosexual marriage has only become law in recent years and prior to that when I was growing up, nobody talked about homosexuality. Everyone who was gay suffered enormous discrimination and that has changed in the United States because people have a better understanding of the science and issues. I think that as Ghanaians gain a greater understanding of the science and issues, they’ll also be very tolerant because this is a very tolerant country and this is one area where Ghana’s tolerance seems very limited”.