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LGBT Is A Question Of Human Rights; French Diplomat To Ghana

France Diplomat, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou has brought back the conversation on LGBTQ in Ghana a week after the United States vice President, Kamala Harris, raised concerns about the country’s position on the topic during her visit to Ghana.

Zacharopoulou, the Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, was in Ghana as part of her visit to selected African countries just like Harris did the previous week.

She had been in Benin and Togo before her visit to Ghana which ended on April 3.

On her visit to Ghana, she visited a skate park created by the NGO Surf Ghana; attended a presentation on a French-Ghanaian research project on plastic recycling at the University of Ghana; met the French and French-speaking community at the Lycée Français International d’Accra and the Ecole Ronsard; and then visited the Osu Castle.

Speaking at a news conference on April 3, she said LGBTQ is an issue of human rights and therefore noted she has taken on the responsibility of advocating same in Africa- where the act is deemed evil.

“So what I can say is that this is our value and wherever I go in Africa, I will continue to say we have to respect all of us, the LGBT community is a question of human rights”, Joynews quotes her as saying.

A similar comment was made by Kamala Harris on her visit last week.

“I feel very strongly about the importance of supporting the freedom and supporting the fighting for equality among all people, and that all people be treated equally. I will also say that this is an issue that we consider, and I consider to be a human rights issue, and that will not change”, she said.

But her statement was criticised by lead advocate for Ghana’s anti-gay bill, Sam George and the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Alban Bagbin who held she was interfering in Ghana’s democracy.

Ghana’s anti-gay bill introduced by some Members of Parliament in 2021 seeks to among other things institute 3 to 5 years of imprisonment for engaging in same-sex intercourse; 5 to 10 years of imprisonment for anyone who produces, procures, or distributes material deemed to be promoting LGBT+ activities.

It also seeks to institute 6 months to 1-year imprisonment for a public show of amorous relations between people of the same sex; a ban on sponsoring LGBT+ groups; a ban on adoption and fostering for LGBT+ potential parents; prohibition of same-sex marriage; 6 months to 3 years imprisonment for anyone who harasses someone accused of being LGBT+ and others.

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