Friday, August 25, 2006

good news from africa:

ghannian gays are out, and about and asking for their rights. bravo :)


Out of the closet!Ghanaian gays and lesbians ask for recognition

Isaac Essel Posted: Thursday, August 24, 2006

Even though Ghanaians society and the country’s legal framework generally frown on same sex, there are many Ghanaians who have been “clandestinely” engaged in their sexual preference, but have now publicly announced their desire to be recognized.

As their number in the country keeps swelling, the President of Gay and Lesbian Association of Ghana has revealed that the association has currently been registering members including some who are in senior secondary school or have just left school. Already, there are some top men and women in society, people with diverse professions including politicians flirting with the gay fraternity, he disclosed.

“We have the majority of gay men in Accra. During some of the small programmes we organize, we get about 400 to 500 gays attending and when we have big programmes we get thousands of people coming from other regions,” Mr. Prince McDonald, the president of the association told Joy fm a local radio station in Accra yesterday.

He noted: “There are a lot of people with this orientation when you move all over Ghana. When you go to Kumasi there is a large population, when you go to Sunyani, when you go to Techiman, in the North, in the Central, there are whole lot of young men and old men, young women and old women who are engaged in same sex attraction.”

Mr. McDonald, 29 says he has been a gay throughout his life. He mentioned some of the societal constraints they encounter as inability to seek medical attention with sexually transmitted infections and media criticism. “Most people do not have anyone to talk to or express that feeling to and that is the problem”, he said.

“Most Ghanaians I know, do not think about issues critically before they express their sentiments. People think about the sexual part of it, it is not about sex, it is about the attraction, it is about love, it is about the same thing that goes on in heterosexual relationships and friendships”.

He called on Ghanaians to accept gays and lesbians into the society because they are human beings and they should be treated the same way as others would wish to be treated. He did not understand why Ghanaians are infringing on their rights and are refusing to accept their fraternity. He said, “We have problems with some things heterosexuals do, but we don’t complain about them, we don’t fight over them.”

Prof. Mansah Prah, a Sociologist and Dean of Social Science, University of Cape Coast said: “What they are saying is very important and we should listen to them if not for anything, but for they fact that they are also a group that is vulnerable when it comes to HIV.”

For Apostle Michael Ntumy, Chairman of the Church of Pentecost and Chairman of the Ghana Pentecostal Council (GPC): “Rights have to be ordered otherwise we would be living in a lawless society”.

Meanwhile none of the “ordinary people” ADM talked to agreed that gays and lesbians should be accepted into the Ghanaian society.

“Brother, majority of Ghanaians are religious and there is no true Christian or Muslim who would tell you that being gay is good. Everybody just stands up and says we want the right to do this and that. We heard about the legalization of prostitution in a country like Ghana and these people also think they should be heard. For get it,” Mr. Sampson Wiredu groused darkly.
Mary Ama Mensah said: “Please and please fellow Ghanaians, don’t let our dear country be thrown into a satanic world. Why did God create Eve for Adam? These people have no respect for our culture and religion, let those countries practice their own thing and let us also protect our culture and dignity, its simple as that”.