Homosexuality: ‘Allow people to do what they want’ – British MP of Ghanaian descent

A British MP of Ghanaian descent Bell Ribeiro-Addy has advocated freedom for homosexuals during her visit to Accra.

The recently elected Labour MP for the Streatham constituency in the United Kingdom (UK) argued that the choices of individuals should be respected.

Ms Ribeiro-Addy, who was a guest on the Super Morning Show of Accra-based Joy FM on Thursday, January 2, 2019 was asked her stance on homosexuality by show host Daniel Dadzie.

She responded: “People should be free to do whatever is it that they want to do. I cannot, you can’t discriminate against people in a certain way. People will love who they want to love and as I said, as a Christian, you are meant to love all people so if you don’t stand up for the rights of people that are being discriminated against in that way then that’s unfair”.

When the host sort to clarify whether it is her Christian duty to actually make sure that people are free to be homosexuals, Ms Ribeiro-Addy answered in the affirmative, “Yeah!”.

She continued: “I mean it’s my Christian duty to also make sure that people are free to be a woman and not to be discriminated against [that] people are free to be disabled and not be discriminated against, to see that people are free to be black and not be discriminated against. There are some fundamental things about ourselves that we will never be able to change. It is not a lifestyle choice, it is your life, it is who you are and we can’t treat people in a certain way”.

In an answer to a previous question, Ms Ribeiro-Addy had explained that: “In my faith, Jesus gave two final commandments; he said, love God above all others [and] He said love people, and if you love people you can fight for their rights [and] stand up to the injustices that they face and do everything you can in your mode of work and my mode of work is politics, to create policies that benefit them. If that is not showing God’s love then I don’t know what is?”.

The issue of homosexuality is topical in Ghana and raises serious tensions whenever discussions arise on the issue. The predominantly Christian and Muslim country has vocal sections kicking against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) practices.

However, some individuals, pro-homosexuality organisations and human rights advocates believe the rights of such individuals should be upheld.

Ghana’s laws are not explicit on homosexuality but bars “unnatural carnal knowledge” which has been interpreted differently by different groups.

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Former UK Prime Minister Theresa May told President Akufo-Addo and other African leaders attending a Commonwealth heads of government meeting in London that it is wrong for homosexuals to be persecuted for their sexual orientation and called for their acceptance.

“Yet there remains much to do…Nobody should face discrimination and persecution because of who they are or who they love. The UK stands ready to support any Commonwealth nation wanting to reform outdated legislation that makes such discrimination possible,” She said volunteering to offer support for legislative reforms.

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However, Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, condemned the practice insisting that Ghana is not ready for a pro-homosexuality law. He stated that the Christian fraternity and other volunteers are ready to help such persons to reform. He emphasised that the practice is unacceptable but LGBT members should be showed love.

Members of the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship also issued a quick response condemning what they said were attempts to impose LGBT on Ghana.

The discussions further gained currency when private legal practitioner and Executive Secretary and Spokesperson for the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values exposed certain elements, he claimed were traits of pro-homosexuality in the Comprehensive Sexuality Education programme which government was considering for implementation in 2019.

The anti-LGBT campaigner said his organization is ready to provide psychological, spiritual and counselling to help LGBT members to reform.


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