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Gays have rights and I will protect them - Oye Lithur
From: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Nathan Gadugah          Published On: January 30, 2013, 14:10 GMT
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 Gays have rights and I will protect them - Oye Lithur

Nana Oye Lithur, Minister-designate of Gender, Children and Social Protection

Nana Oye Lithur, Minister-designate of Gender, Children and Social Protection, says that gays and lesbians, like all others in Ghana, have rights which must be protected.

She declared that the constitution guarantees the rights of all persons irrespective of their sexual preferences and that every citizen's rights must be protected.

Mrs. Oye Lithur has come under attack for advocating for the rights of gays and lesbians in Ghana.

A group calling itself Concerned Clergy accused her of promoting the practice of homosexuality in Ghana and vowed to kick against her approval as a substantive minister.

They claimed that her action as an advocate for gays and lesbians is an affront to Ghana’s cultural values.

They sent an unsigned petition to Parliament’s Appointments Committee, where Oye Lithur is being vetted for her position as a minister, spelling out their objections to her nomination.

When Oye Lithur appeared before the committee on Wednesday, the Majority side of committee took turns to grill the minister-designate on her position on gays and lesbians.

She had earlier, in an answer to a question posed by Member of Parliament for Ledzorkuku Mrs Okity Duah, said she had never pushed for the promotion of the practice of homosexuality in Ghana.

What she has done, she insisted, is to support the rights of all Ghanaians irrespective of sexual preferences.

But when she was pushed further by Member of Parliament for Akwatia Baba Jamal to state her position on whether she supported the practice of homosexuality, she said her view on the subject was personal.

Apparently not impressed by the answer by the minister-designate, Mr Baba Jamal stated that the country’s customary laws frown on the practice of homosexuality and that those laws should be the guiding principle.

Mrs. Oye Lithur retorted, saying the constitution of Ghana remains supreme and so long as it has not criminalized the practice of homosexuality, gay and lesbian people’s rights have to be protected.

Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Okudzeto Ablakwa, asked a pointed question whether the minister designate would want to see homosexuality criminalized in Ghana, the Minister-designate replied that the question was up to society to decide.

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