Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The worrying prevalence of homophobia in Ghana

I wrote this and intended to publish it on the 23rd July 2011, 3 months before David Cameron's campaign for gay rights in Africa:

No matter what I say it will probably be taking in the wrong way by someone. But I think I should say something, because my sister appears to be getting tired of me talking for hours on end about the things that annoy me without showing signs of actually doing SOMETHING about it.

Over the past couple of weeks I have noticed something in Ghanaian news that I do not like. As the title of this post would suggest it is the prevalence of homophobia in Ghana. I will make my position clear because I think it's important that no one misinterprets any ambiguities. I am a Christian (by birth some may say) and I follow the Bible as closely as I can.That is to say that I know we are not all perfect but we can try to be. I have not yet read a scripture that deals with homosexuality directly but I think the interpretations and sentiment that runs through the Bible makes it pretty clear. So with that, I'm not homophobic, I have gay, bisexual and lesbian friends and I don't ever judge their life choices. Their sexual orientation is their decision

It frustrates me that our country's leaders doesn't have their priorities in order. The most important thing for Ghana and indeed for most African countries, is development. Our pastors, headteachers and politicians should be preaching about anti-corruption values, innovation and respect. They shouldn't be asking people to expose other people's private lives or call the police on mere suspicions of things that do not concern them. There are many other evils in our country that seem to be slipping through the mosquito net.

And I will be terribly honest. I'm not asking for Ghanaian society to be any more accepting of homosexuality than it is today. It is not acceptable in our culture, nor in the religions to which we subscribe. But Ghanaians had perfected the art of living side by side with those with whom you disagreed. There is a common goal which is the country's development and we should work towards that despite other problems. I worry that this flurry of debate around homosexuality in the country will bring unnecessary attention to a country that so far no one has any problems with.

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