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Ghana: Prez Caught in Gay Web

in GHANA, 15/02/2013

"The fact that local propagandists can plausibly suggest that the president of a West African country is in the hands of gay lobbyists, reflects a changing world. I hope that President Mahama will seize this occasion to take a leadership role in the region on L.G.B.T. rights."

President John Dramani Mahama seems to have been caught in a gay web, as current revelations point to a fact that his over eight years relationship with international gay lobbyist Andrew Solomon, seem to be confirming the worst fears of many Ghanaians.

The Government Communication team had earlier lied about the President's relationship with Andrew, denying that he knew Andrew, until reference was made to the President's controversial book launch in the United States, where Andrew played a major role.

The government, in a u-turn, admitted that the President had a relationship with Andrew, when the truth became too glaring to conceal.

Andrew, in an article published in the New York Times on the raging debate about his relationship with the President and the promotion of gay rights in Ghana, averred that he received a call from the President apologising to him for a 'miscommunication' of their relationship to Ghanaians.

"On Friday, Feb. 1, the President's Spokesman said that President Mahama didn't know me. On Saturday, the President called me to apologise," Solomon averred.

Andrew gave a fair insight into when he first met President John Dramani Mahama, dating back to about eight years, when the two met at he (Andrew's) friend's wedding "near Accra", but failed to say whether the occasion was a gay wedding or not.

"When my husband-to-be and I met the Ghanaian politician John Dramani Mahama at a friend's wedding near Accra eight years ago, I liked him immediately. I kept up with his fortunes, mostly through mutual friends, and I was happy to learn in 2009 that he had been elected his nation's vice president."

The raging debate about Andrew's 'negative' influence on the Ghanaian President to promote homosexualism in Ghana, and reports that he (Andrew) might have supported the President's campaign to promote gay rights in Ghana after winning the elections, seem to be unsettling Andrew.

"I have neither the ability nor the inclination to meddle in foreign elections, and I paid not one red cent for the book John Mahama inscribed to me. The only way I may have influenced him on gay rights was by welcoming him into the household of a joyful family with two dads. It is deeply unsettling to be implicated in a national scandal, to know that my attempts to be kind and helpful to someone would become his millstone," Andrew noted.

However, Andew holds the opinion that the simple fact that the issue of homosexualism has become a topical issue in the national discourse itself is a healthy sign that inroads are being made in the fight to promote the rights of these group of people.

"In Ghana, the articles that attacked President Mahama for knowing me referenced "the raging national debate on gay and lesbian rights" in Ghana. That there is such a debate -- even if it's a debate about whether to lynch us -- is meaningful progress," he noted.

He is, however, expectant of President John Mahama to take up the leadership role to promoting gay rights in the West African sub-region.

"The fact that local propagandists can plausibly suggest that the president of a West African country is in the hands of gay lobbyists, reflects a changing world. I hope that President Mahama will seize this occasion to take a leadership role in the region on L.G.B.T. rights."

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