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US offers Ghana assistance in moving forward on LGBT rights

The Assistant Secretary of the US Bureau of African Affairs has urged African nations to respect the rights of LGBT people and has offered to assist Ghana in strengthening its commitment to non-discrimination
Assistant Secretary of the US Bureau of African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield
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Assistant Secretary of the US Bureau of African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield has used a video news conference to urge greater respect for the rights of LGBT people in Africa in an interview with Ghana’s Daily Graphic newspaper.

‘The United States believes that all people are created equal,’ Thomas-Greenfield said.

‘I am an Africa American, I have gone through the experience of being in a country where there were questions about that, so for us, it is unequivocal that regardless of people’s sexual orientation, regardless of their gender, we want all people to be treated with all the rights and protection of human rights that we expect from all countries.’

‘So we are prepared as United States with very strong values in this area to work with countries in Africa to help them develop legislation that will provide human rights to its people.’

Thomas-Greenfield said the United States would be willing to help Ghana develop legislation to protect the rights of LGBT people.

A Constitutional Review Commission recommended in July last year that the country’s Supreme Court should decide the issue of whether homosexuality should be legalized.

Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama has been more diplomatic when it comes to making public statements about homosexuality than his predecessor John Atta Mills but he supports keeping homosexuality a crime.

However at least one of his ministers supports the decriminalization of homosexuality.

Gender Minister Nana Oye Lister’s appointment to that role was attacked by Christian groups over her support for LGBT rights.

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