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Ghana and Africa must learn to respect LGBT rights

in GHANA, 11/12/2012

Instead of running anti-gay hate campaigns, Ghana and Africa should tolerate and respect sexual diversity which is inherent to its culture and traditions

Following Ghana´s electoral campaign riddled with anti-gay hate, Prince K. MacDonald, a leading Human and LGBT rights advocate in the country, writing under a pseudonym, outlines a critical response.

Homosexuality is not western and evil like most Ghanaians perceive it. I feel insulted when someone tells me my sexuality is borrowed or western.

I have travelled around the world and have realized that actions, behaviors and attitudes are the same across the world. What is different is the treatment of homosexuals across Africa and others parts of the world.

For me, I think we need to listen to archbishop Desmond Tutu when he used the example of the color of our skin to promote love for gay people because sexuality cannot be changed as most people think and believe.

Democracy in Africa is not understood yet.

I think African countries should look at what might be suitable for the ´island´ known as Africa and practice that if they think they cannot agree with international democratic principles. Democracy in Africa therefore will not make Africans tolerant of homosexual issues.

Africa and Ghana needs to learn lessons from the Nazi regime in Germany to enable them to admire and support their own LGBT people here.

Now, education is the major problem in Africa because we do not even have the people to conduct research on gender identity and sexuality issues.

The Nazi campaign against homosexuality targeted the more than one million German men who, the state asserted, carried a ´degeneracy´ that threatened the ´disciplined masculinity´ of Germany. Denounced as ´antisocial parasites´ and as ´enemies of the state,´ more than 100,000 men were arrested under a broadly interpreted law against homosexuality. Approximately 50,000 men served prison terms as convicted homosexuals, while an unknown number were institutionalized in mental hospitals.

If lessons learnt and experiences shared between the west and the South, it might help change things in Africa.

Europe is still battling with the issue in some countries but many Africans think all is well in Europe for LGBT people so the next step is to export LGBT behavior to Africa. Sexuality is not exported like the cars nor like furniture for our homes.

When Africa understands the issues involved, the change will take place gradually.

I think the issue of democracy should be taught to the people of Africa again and again. You only hear of people talking about democracy during election year and when funds are being given to organizations to promote tolerance and peace.

Promoting tolerance is great, but I can tell you that those who receive such funds do not care or think positively about the LGBT community and people.

They have their pre-conceived stereotypes about homosexuality and they have derogatory names for people like me who support and promote LGBT rights.

The LGBT movement needs the fuel (resources) to equip our machines to function.

Today, the church has lost its spirituality and practicing religiosity.

The love and care for the human being is lost to the preaching of hate and intolerance of minority groups and extortion monies from the poor people to the rich; the church needs to promote the inclusion of sexual minorities and protect them from harassment and threats of death. God is love and so should be the Christian of today.

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