Ultimate 12 months, Ghanaians took to the streets to protest in opposition to regulations criminalizing homosexuality. The protests have been basically in line with a 72-page file printed through the Human Rights Watch which detailed how violence against contributors of the LGBT neighborhood through mobs or their very own members of the family used to be on the upward push. Rankings of protesters insisted that the rustic’s Penal Code used to be now not just a dated colonial-era relic however that it ended in LGBT Ghanaians being handled as second-class voters with out elementary human rights. Whilst international locations equivalent to Botswana and Angola made large strides this 12 months and decriminalized homosexuality, Ghana’s discriminatory regulations have remained and lives proceed to be affected on account of it.
On November 1st, the International Congress of Households (WCF), a far-right group that has been pegged a hate staff through the Southern Poverty Regulation Middle, hosted a regional convention in Accra, Ghana. The 2-day collecting incorporated Ghana’s political and non secular leaders who subscribe to the conservative “pro-family” and “herbal legislation” ideologies which condemn homosexuality, Islam, abortion and different reproductive well being rights. There may be expanding fear amongst contributors of the LGBT neighborhood, activists and allies, that LGBT other folks will revel in much more focused violence now not simplest in Ghana however different African international locations the place homosexuality has nonetheless now not been decriminalized.
You would be forgiven for now not understanding who the WCF are and what they are about. Davis Mac-Iyalla is the Govt Director of the Interfaith Range Community of West Africa. The group “builds bridges throughout all religions or faiths” with without equal intention of fixing attitudes against LGBT other folks. In a observation to OkayAfrica, Mac-Iyalla says that, “Their footprint in selling and sponsoring anti-LGBT regulations in West Africa is understood however the wider common public does not know a lot about them and their schedule.” He continues, “That is why they most commonly goal influential politicians and non secular leaders as their access issues.” In step with Mac-Iyalla, a lot of Ghanaian govt officers together with former president Kufuor Mahama and audio system of parliament are giving the WCF substantial consideration.
LGBT rights group OutRight Motion Global has additionally spoken out concerning the WCF’s increasing homophobic schedule in West African international locations. Jessica Stern, the Govt Director of the group, says in a press liberate that, “This isn’t the primary example of American Evangelicals and organizations exporting homophobia and transphobia all over the world.” Stern provides that, “Their schedule stands in stark distinction to elementary human rights requirements, as a substitute overtly inciting assaults on human dignity, and selling an extended out-dated global of spiritual domination and stark gender inequalities.” She ends off through pronouncing that, “We need to paintings throughout civil society and state obstacles to enhance activists in West Africa and be sure that an already opposed atmosphere for LGBTIQ other folks and ladies does now not turn out to be much more so.”
Explaining how activists at the floor and foyer teams plan to counter the resource-backed efforts of the WCF, Mac-Iyalla says that, “We’ve got monitored and documented their actions correctly. Within the coming weeks to months, we can broaden methods to withstand and counter their actions. Ours is to reveal their homophobia and discrimination in West Africa.” He ends off on a hopeful notice and says that, “We’re growing consciousness and teaching our other folks on the actual Africa Households and Values which isn’t simplest according to organic concepts however on love and compassion.”
Whilst the WCF didn’t reply to our makes an attempt to touch them for remark on the time of publishing, in a file entitled A Name for Civil Discussion and Positive Engagement, the group defends itself through pronouncing that it “stridently condemns any violence in opposition to homosexuals and would by no means enhance any regulation that will recommend such” and that “[WCF] hasn’t ever taken a place at the criminalization of homosexuality.”
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