Former Country Director of Amnesty International Ghana, Robert Amoafo, has debunked claims that LGBT+ sexualities are a Western import, thus must be rejected.
According to him, such claims are unfounded myths meant to misinform the general population and garner opposition against the members of the LGBT+ community.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile Saturday, he stated that “No country called the UK, US or Canada packed homosexuality and came to pour it on Ghanaians and said some Ghanaians will be gay. And so let’s not have this discussion around the idea that homosexuality is a western import; it is not.”
He added, “We have had homosexuals in Ghana, even in Africa, since the beginning of the world and wherever it may be, and all the things that many people mentioned even the underpinning discussion by some of the proponents of this bill clearly show that homosexuality is not something that was started by the West or brought in by the West, so that myth must be cleared.”
His comment came in reaction to an attempt by Ningo Prampram MP, Sam George, who tried drawing parallels between the criminalisation of Polygamy in some Western societies and the criminalization of LGBT+ sexualities in Ghana.
Sam George had cited an article from a foreign news website about two Canadian brothers sentenced to 5 years for engaging in Polygamy in their home country to buttress his point on the need to defend popular customary and traditional views of Ghanaians just as the Canadians had done.
However, reacting to the parallels drawn, which were further emphasised by the host, Evans Mensah, Robert Amoafo said it was wrong to draw such parallels as it creates the impression that LGBT+ sexualities are a Western import.
He explained that even Western countries that now protect LGBT+ community members had at one point had their own struggles with accepting them; thus, it was injurious to even portray LGBT+ sexualities as western.
“That that myth around the idea that the West is bringing in something is false. It is only the idea that we should understand that even in the West, if you look at the US case 50 years ago, this discussion was being had as we’re having now.
“There was a Member of Parliament just like we have Sam George sitting in your studios also doing the same thing as is happening now. So it is not too foreign even to them that they have had this discussion before,” he said.
He emphasised that LGBT+ people have formed part of Ghana’s social fabric since time immemorial and have not had any negative effect on society whatsoever.
“They’ve been amongst the people for so long; they have not caused any destruction to anybody, they have not done anything that destroys our economy or violates people’s human rights, or violates a person or causes violence against anybody, they’re people who exist every day, they go to work, they’re human beings like any other person.”
He thus further stressed the need to alienate the idea of LGBT+ sexualities being a Western import from the main discussion and view them as humans.
“Sexuality is not a foreign thing, it is a spectrum, and we’re all on a sexuality spectrum. And so if somebody is found on the spectrum of being gay, the person is not wrong, the person is a human being and must be respected, and given all the human rights and protection as expected,” he concluded.
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