This is a sad, yet an all-too-realistic theme coming from some countries in Africa. Ghana is the latest country to “throw the book” at some of its GLBTQ citizens. The country’s western region minister issued a call to arrest all gays in the country’s western portion.
The Star Observer had some interesting quotes and background on the story:
“All efforts are being made to get rid of these people in the society,” he said.
The move by the Minister follows months of campaigning by the Christian Council of Ghana which last week called on Ghanaians not to vote for any politician who believes in the rights of homosexuals. Muslims and Christians in the Western Region have been staging protests ever since a local media report claimed there were around 8,000 homosexuals and lesbians in the district.
The Christian Council of Ghana also encouraged anyone seeking political office to publicly announce his or her’s sexuality in an attempt to clear the air.
At a press conference in Accra on Monday the General Secretary of the Council Dr. Fred Deegbe urged voters to blacklist any presidential candidate who supports the rights of gays and lesbians in any shape or form. He contended the act of homosexuality is sinful and barbaric and must not be countenanced in the country.
“This detestable and abominable act if passed into law in Ghana will bring the wrath of God upon the nation and the consequences will be unbearable,” he said.
“…We call on all Christians to vote against all politicians who promote and support homosexuality,” he urged.
He further stated “We as a Christian community in Ghana totally condemn this as an unnatural and ungodly act and call on all religious bodies and organizations, traditional rulers and all decent loving Ghanaians to join in this campaign.” Quoting religiously from Leviticus 18:22 of the bible the Reverend stated: “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman. That is detestable,” adding, “these are so clear and need no further interpretation or explanation.”
He said the practice of homosexuality is alien to the Ghanaian culture and called on all to resist the imposition of alien cultures in the name of human rights.
A member of the country’s Parliament also told the GLBTQ community they could be facing imminent lynching for their sexuality.
The NDC MP for Shai Osu Doku, Hon David Tetteh Assuming, said he is disgusted at the campaigns being led by respected senior citizens seeking respect and tolerance for gay and lesbian rights. In an interview with Citi News’ Parliamentary Correspondent, Richard Sky, Hon. Assuming said homosexuals operating in the country may have to relocate outside Ghana before the growing public outrage against them degenerates into systematic moves to eliminate them one after the other.
“You cannot trace this act to any of the settings in Ghana. So this is foreign and I am I saying that Ghanaians cherish our culture a lot so for anybody to adulterate the cultural setting in Ghana as far as this act is concerned, I have the fear that people could take the law into their hands in future and deal with this people drastically. We have been seeing the situation where people take the law into their hands to lynch armed robbers. They call it mob action. And so since this has been happening and the law cannot take hold of this people, then I believe that the same thing could be directed to them. So I am sending a sign to these people that they will not have it easy in this country. They can leave here and go to other places to practice that. But in this country, I believe that they are treading on dangerous grounds and they could face lynching in future” he noted. The Legislator said issues of human rights cannot justify the practice of homosexuality in Ghana, which he according to him, could incur the wrath of God on a “God-fearing nation” like Ghana.
“Being a God-fearing nation and a God-fearing people, let us not joke with this issue and let us not talk about any issue of human rights. This is uncultured, anti-Ghanaian and if care is not taken, these people will face a very tough time in future” he noted.
I *love* how this politician feigns concern over the safety of GLBTQ citizens in Ghana, but in the same breath justifies the mob action as something law enforcement has no power to control. He effectively gave the green light to anti-GLBTQ citizens, politicians, activists and organizations to round up and lynch any suspected GLBTQ person.
This type of blatant campaign to effectively round up, jail, torture and kill homosexuals throughout the African content is nothing new, as homosexuality is still considered a taboo subject in a good number of its countries. In Uganda, Malawi and Kenya, a flurry of anti-gay comments and actions are viewed as a rise of a homophobic wave gripping those countries and its citizens. A call to use the death penalty to punish “aggravated homosexuality” in Uganda against gays created a sense of fear among its citizens for their family, friends and loved ones. This type of widespread hatred and campaign to wipe out the GLBTQ community is starkly similar to the mounting scapegoating campaign the Hutus led against the Tutsis in the years leading up to the Rwandan genocide. It’s been nothing short of disturbing to watch and listen news reports filled with politicians espousing hatred of a “disease” they insist is not native to their respective nations and offer solutions to the “gay problem.”
African GLBTQ citizens deserve every right to live their lives to the fullest with whomever they choose to spend their days with. Homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism lifestyles is nothing new in Africa and these politicians inciting fear and uncertainty in their citizens just to score political points with conservative, activists voters, religious leaders and interest groups have proven themselves to be masters of political, social and economic scapegoating.
Blood will be on these politicians, activists, religious and interest groups leaders’ hands if their anti-GLBTQ constituents take up arms and follow through with the message of wiping out GLBTQ citizens they believe are morally destroying their nations.