Ghana Coalition against homophobia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Accra, 03 November, 2011: The Coalition against Homophobia in Ghana (CAHG), the Gay and Lesbian Association of Ghana (GALAG) and other LGBT Networks in Ghana are surprised and in total shock at the increased interest by the UK government to withdraw aid to some African countries who are homophobic. Though the Coalition have no problem with calling on government to abide by the British code of conduct for financial support, we believe LGBT people do not live in isolation in Africa. We have families and friends who need these aids to survive on daily basis.
Cutting aid to some selected Africa countries due to homophobic laws therefore will not help the LGBT people in these countries, but will rather stigmatize these groups and individuals. LGBT people will be used as scape goats for government inability to support its citizens and some sectors of the economy.
The challenge now is that,
Homosexuality is now being seen as western import due to the continuous threats from the UK government. It is now difficult to convince the ordinary person on the street that homosexuality was not imported into Africa; although we know and have always had African indigenous people who are born homosexuals.
LGBT groups and organizations are finding it very difficult and risky to organize their programs due to such threats and continuous discussion on radio and television stations in Ghana.
Support from government agencies for LGBT programs with regards to health will be affected since the government will not want to be seen as promoting or supporting LGBT activities in the country.
We believe the UK government can use diplomacy to get some of these important issues across to the countries noted for promoting hate against homosexuals or the LGBT community in Africa. We encourage the UK government to find other alternative way to address the issue other than this option, which is going to increase the level of stigma, violence and discrimination against LGBT people in Africa.
Though all these noise continue to go against LGBT groups and individuals in Africa, development partners never supports LGBT initiatives on the ground. Embassies and consulates including the EU offices continue to turn deaf ears to LGBT issues insisting that their priorities do not include LGBT people in Africa.
We are by this release appealing to development partners to channel some support to LGBT groups and organization in countries like Ghana to support local or internal advocacy as well as network building with state institutions.
This we believe will go a long way to help the LGBT people in Ghana and Africa at large.
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