About sixty-seven high profile celebrities, designers and politicians in the UK including Idris Elba, Naomi Campbell and the Vogue editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful have called on the President of Ghana advocating for the protection of the LGBTQ+ community in Ghana.
After just three weeks of been opened, the LGBTQ+ community office in Accra, Ghana was shut down after religious leaders amongst other anti-gay organizations called on the government to halt the operations of the community in the country.
But reacting to the news of the office closure of the sexual minorities in Ghana, the letter, signed by 67 influential people in the UK largely of Ghanaian heritage, said they were deeply disturbed by the events and called on President Nana Akufo-Addo, and other political leaders to offer protection to the LGBTQ+ community.
Part of the letter read, “We have watched with profound concern as you have had to question the safety of your vital work at the LGBT+ Rights Ghana Centre in Accra, and feared for your personal wellbeing and security. It is unacceptable to us that you feel unsafe.”
“As prominent and powerful advocates for this great country, we are beseeching His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and political/cultural leaders to create a pathway for allyship, protection and support. We petition for inclusivity which will make the nation even greater and even stronger,” it continued.
The community office was set up by the LGBTQ+ Rights Ghana. The opening of the centre amplified discrimination against the community as same-sex relationships are illegal in Ghana.
A few days ago, the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution of persons behind the community centre. The Catholic Church in Ghana during its Bishops’ Conference also released a statement demanding the centre be shut down and condemned “all those who support the practice of homosexuality in Ghana”.
The body urged the government “never to be cowed down or to succumb to the pressure to legalise the rights of LGBTQ+ in Ghana”.
However, a board member of the LGBTQ+ community in Ghana, Roslyn Mould, intimated that the group hoped the community space would protect LGBTQ+ people from threats and abuse in Ghana, which increased in recent weeks.
“This space or office was made to support a vulnerable community, these persons have been under attack for a long time,” she said. “We would also like this opportunity to thank all the allies who have supported the community throughout this ordeal.”
Detailing the intensified pressure metered against sexual minorities in Ghana, Roslyn Mould stated that Ghana’s National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values has in recent weeks ramped up threats against sexual minorities including proposing conversion therapy.