A Christian group is protesting Ghana’s new gender minister Nana Oye Lithur over her support of gay rights.
The homophobic group called ‘Concerned Clergy Association of Ghana’ is opposing Lithur’s appointment as Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection because she is a ‘proponent and supporter of gay rights’.
To appoint Nana Oye Lithur to ‘this sensitive position as a Gender, Children, and Social Protection Minister is detrimental to our social cultural norms and religious beliefs,’ said group spokesman Bishop Prince Benny Wood, citifmonline.com reports.
He added: ‘As Ghanaians, we think that the President must take a second look at that kind of position that is being given to Nana Oye Lithur because we think that her views as far as homosexuality is concerned is too much to the extreme.’
In Ghana, sexual acts between men are illegal and there is no protection from discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. It is unclear whether sexual acts between women are illegal.
Jail sentences for those accused of male same-sex activity can range from five to 25 years.
But Oye Lithur said: ‘Not even the president of Ghana can deny anybody’s human rights irrespective of the person’s sexual orientation, ethnic group, gender and what have you.’
‘These are guaranteed in our constitution and everybody in Ghana has an obligation to respect that constitution.’
Oye Lithur is currently Executive Director of the Human Rights Advocacy Centre, which provides legal services to those who cannot afford them. It has handled 677 human rights cases since 2009.
Oye Lithur has 20 years experience as a human rights lawyer and is described as an activist. Her name was included in the first list of ministerial nominees to be made public last week.
Responding to the homophobic comments, Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, the Executive Director of the West Africa Civil Society Institute, told GBC Ghana that Oye Lister is an embodiment of human rights for all.