21 February 2013

Ghana: Oye Lithur to Engage Pastors On Homosexuals

The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur, on Wednesday, said discussions were underway to engage the clergy to explain her position on the rights of homosexuals to them, for a better understanding of the issues.

"This would enable all of us to better appreciate the issues of human rights, and to differentiate the issues of right, so people could be more accommodating and do away with stigma," she said.

She told the US Ambassador, Mr. Gene Cretz, who had called to congratulate her on her appointment, that the issue of homosexuality raised during her vetting was an opportunity for a national debate, and an advocacy opportunity, which other advocates could take up and champion as a fundamental human right.

Nana Oye Lithur said there was also the need to engage CHRAJ and DOVSSU and other institutions on the issue of homosexual rights, to get a better understanding.

She said her Ministry had developed a new blueprint, which encompassed institutional framework on child support protections on trafficking, support for victims of domestic violence, and adoption processing in Ghana.

Nana Oye Lithur said orphanages would be properly regulated to ensure that "children are not short-changed" in the adoption procedure.

She said the current structure that houses the Ministry would be renovated until the new building is completed in two years.

Mr. Cretz stressed on the need for respecting the human rights of all persons, as well as gender rights, which he described as very dear to the US government.

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