The Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Tove Degnbol has called on Ghanaians to respect the rights of gays and lesbians as the United Nation’s Human Rights Council reviews the country’s human rights records.
The review process is currently taking place in Accra with experts stressing the need for the rights of all Ghanaians to be respected and not violated.
There have been several agitations by gays and lesbians outside Ghana seeking protection from abuse and attacks over their sexuality.
“I think it is important that gay [and lesbian] rights are discussed. To us, gay rights are human rights. Everybody should have the same rights. We have been through this discussion in our country, initially, there was a lot of resistance from religion…,” she said
Ambassador Degnbol continued, “…I fully recognize the debate which is going on here in Ghana. But I think it is very important to understand that all people have rights,” despite their sexuality and nationality.
According to her, gay rights are an important part of the issues that needed to be addressed in Ghana.
Ambassador Degnbol’s call comes at a time when Ghana’s speaker of Parliament Prof. Mike Ocquaye categorically announced that the West African country will not consider changing her laws that make the practice of homosexuality illegal.
Speaking during a courtesy call on Amnesty International — who has been angling for Ghana to respect the rights homosexuals and decriminalize the laws which make the practice illegal – Prof. Ocquaye quizzed, “Is Amnesty International going to tell us that many countries are doing that so you too have to accept homosexuality, to accept bestiality because [it] is also becoming a human right in some countries?”
“The right for a human being to sleep with an animal is also becoming a human right and we are tired with some of these things and we must be frank about it,” he added.
With the exception of South Africa, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Africa are very limited in comparison to many other areas of the world.
Homosexuality is found throughout the African continent but out of the 55 states recognised by the African Union, the International Gay and Lesbian Association stated in 2015 that homosexuality is outlawed in 34 African countries.