Nana Oye Lithur, an outspoken champion of human rights in Ghana, has come out and said that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people have rights to be respected under the law. According to Lithur, it is time to begin the conversation, Ghana News Now reports.
Gays and lesbians may be frowned upon by adherents of Ghanaian tradition and culture but, according to a human rights lawyer, they have rights to be respected under the law.
Practitioners of homosexuality, the ranks of whom are said to be on the increase in the country, have received scathing condemnation lately.
But Nana Oye Lithur, an outspoken champion of human rights, took a different path on Thursday and declared that it was about time Ghanaians discussed the issue of homosexual rights dispassionately.
The phenomenon has become topical following recent increases in the communities of practitioners of that sexual orientation, not only in Ghana but also across Africa, and the intensification of their demand for legal recognition.African Activist recently posted about how the Muslim community in Ghana organised a large protest against homosexuality in Takoradi. The area has a vibrant lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community and the protest was designed to challenge the government into action.
In Ghana, however, they have remained in their closets, largely due to the fear of public condemnation. Confronting the issue, Nana Lithur said homosexuality was not a crime, as many people believed,_ but a sexual orientation like heterosexuality to which people were at liberty to make a preference.
She said unnatural carnal knowledge, which was a crime under the Criminal Code, could not be necessarily considered as homosexuality “because even heterosexuals could have unnatural carnal knowledge.
“I think we should try and understand the situation. If we don’t discuss’ it as a country, how do we overcome the problem?” she asked.