Gays are ‘filthy’ and ‘sick’ but like witches they should be cured, not killed, a Ghanaian Christian leader has said.
Reverend Prof Emmanuel Martey, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in the west African country, said lynching gays is a kind of ‘jungle’ barbarism.
Ghanaweb.com reports Martey as telling radio station Joy FM: ‘If somebody confesses to be a homosexual or somebody comes out of the closet, as they say, that doesn’t mean that the person should be lynched; that doesn’t mean that the person should be killed. We are not in the jungle.
‘Witchcraft is a sickness and homosexuality is also a sickness and you help the sick person to get healed so why should you rather kill.’
Last year Martey said gays form part of ‘Satan’s deadly agenda’ aiming to have the country ‘destroyed’.
LGBTI issues appear to have sparked wide debate in the country in the last few days – but not positively.
The President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) has also spoken out, claiming homosexuality is spreading the country’s high schools.
Asamoah Benefo Darkwa alleged in an interview with Radio XYZ that older students were taking advantage of younger pupils, particularly in single sex schools.
Ghanaweb.com reports Dankwa as saying: ‘It is a shame for the seniors who are trying to force the younger ones in there… I really wish that the authorities of schools would take this matter up and guard and protect the younger ones.’
He demanded schools expel lesbian, gay and bisexual students and also implied the government should crack down on homosexuality.
Many LGBTI people in Ghana will not speak about the situation for fear of reprisals.
One GSN source in the country told us: ‘There are a few people who came out but they were beaten or arrested and now stay hidden for their safety... the churches are particularly hostile and preach against LGBT people.’
He believes his own life is in danger.