Presby Church Moderator Prof. Emmanuel Martey is asking Parliament not to approve the nomination of Nana Oye Lithur as Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection.
He says that her stance on homosexuality and lesbianism is very dangerous to the moral health of the society.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday, the Moderator said that homosexuality, which he accused Nana Oye Lithur of promoting in the past, is morally wrong and its acceptance must not be entertained.
Answering a number of questions on her views on gay rights before the Appointments Committee on Wednesday, Nana Oye Lithur said “my stand on the actual practice of gay and lesbianism is personal and the issue of homosexuality is a societal issue which I believe our society should discuss, debate and deliberate upon and come to a conclusion as to whether they want to accept it or not. My focus is on defending the rights of everyone who finds himself or herself in Ghana.”
Prof Martey said that he expected Mrs. Lithur to be honest in answering the Committees questions, but as far as he is concerned, she was rather evasive, dishonest and inconsistent.
The enraged Presby Moderator went on to call the human rights advocate a coward whose submissions before the Parliamentary Committee were disgraceful.
He asked why the minister-designate avoided giving pointed answers and standing by her previous views on the subject if she believed “what she stands for is good and will help Ghana”.
“…Oye Lithur was lying yesterday…She cannot speak a simple truth,” he claimed, adding that, “we need leaders of integrity.”
Prof Martey charged that the president’s nominee for the ministry, which is intended to protect children, is not qualified for the post because she lacks integrity.
But human rights lawyer Prof Ken Attafuah disagreed. He said the Constitution guarantees the fundamental human rights of every individual irrespective of the person’s sexual orientation.
He quoted Article 17(1) of the 1992 Constitution which says: “All persons shall be equal before the law (2) A person shall not be discriminated against on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status" to ground his argument.
He further explained that “The rights, duties, declarations and guarantees relating to the fundamental human rights and freedoms specifically mentioned in this Chapter shall not be regarded as excluding others not specifically mentioned which are considered to be inherent in a democracy and intended to secure the freedom and dignity of man”.
Therefore if a person is gay, the person’s rights must be protected, he insisted.
Prof Ataffuah saw nothing wrong with the position taken by Nana Oye Lithur, saying she was only upholding the constitution.
He said the minister-designate stated clearly at her vetting that she was not going to promote homosexuality even if she also added that she will protect the rights of all people including homosexuals.
That, he maintained, is Oye Lithur’s “obligation as a protector for the rights of marginalized people…”