Thursday, 21 July 2011

Senior Ghanaian minster orders arrest of gays

I've finally found something (via Nicholas Pegg) to drag me kicking and screaming away from the phone hacking scandal here in Britain.
Reports are coming in from a few news outlets that Ghanaian National Democratic Congress politician and Minister for the Western Region of Ghana, Paul Evans Aidoo, has ordered the security forces in the country to round up all people suspected of engaging in homosexual activity. He has also asked for the assistance of Blockleiters (apologies, my fingers couldn't avoid the slip into Godwin) landlords and tenants in providing reliable information on gay people in the area. Ghana isn't exactly a haven for LGBT people and after months of campaigning by Aidoo against homosexuality in the country this doesn't come as a huge surprise. He also appears to be one of the African politicians who believes that homosexuality is a Western 'problem', stating that he does not believe the recent number given of 8,000 lesbians and gay men in the region (though it is difficult to substantiate as this post outlines - if anyone knows a better source, please link me). 

As a side note, LGBT people generally account for about 2-10% of the population, this being the case, the Western Region's population of 1,924,577 should be home to at least 36,000 gay people - you could fit the population of the Scottish town (considered of a reasonable size - we had three schools in the town itself, a supermarket, plenty of wee shops in the centre, about eight churches and a swimming pool) where I grew up into that number two and half times.
Meanwhile, Mr Aidoo has said of the gay community in the country that: “all efforts are being made to get rid of these people in the society.” Delightful man. When are you planning on pushing a 'Kill The Gays' bill through? I'm sure if you try hard enough you could be like Uganda, or even better, Saudi Arabia! Wouldn't that be nice? Just for now though I'll mark you in there with Jamaica.

EDIT: I'm just posting some more recent reports/blogs/etc that have come through during the day - a fair few say basically the same thing, others elaborate further. Below my list, I've got a bit more bloggery.


FURTHER EDIT: Ghanaian Chronicle have posted a nasty little homophobic piece to their website which I would blog further on only I'm exhausted, however their conscience is slightly greater than Mr Aidoo's at the least:
The Chronicle hopes the authorities would not take advantage of the anti-homosexual sentiments in society to pursue a witch-hunting agenda. We can pursue the cause of eliminating this society of the scourge of gay and lesbian activities, without being vindictive.
On one hand... cheers for not supporting the witch-hunt, on the other... bollocks.

Also, I've looked into our "lynch 'em" friend and found the source-iest article in which the MP for Shai Osu Doku, Hon David Tetteh Assuming (a Christian) suggesting that mob justice would be carried out by Ghana's people where he also states that homosexuality is a foreign import (yep, that old chestnut):

You cannot trace this act to any of the settings in Ghana. So this is foreign and I am I saying that Ghanaians cherish our culture a lot so for anybody to adulterate the cultural setting in Ghana as far as this act is concerned[...]

Just like good old Christianity. As Christianity was a foreign import, I thoroughly advocate your abandoning the religion immediately, sir, for the good of the cultural setting of your country. I do note, in his defence, that he doesn't explicitly advocate mob action, he just supports more frequent raids on gay people's meeting places, lack of equality, fighting equality and increasing the numbers of people (i.e. recruiting more women) to spread intolerance. He is going out of his way to create the culture where people will lynch their fellow human beings on the grounds of their sexuality, actual or perceived.

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