The African Queer Youth Initiative (AQYI) is deeply troubled by the troubling government crackdown and violence targeting LGBT+ Rights Ghana and the broader queer community. Let us be clear, LGBT+ rights are human rights, and we stand in firm solidarity with the LGBT+ community in Ghana.
As we assure queer Ghanaians of our unconditional support, we condemn individuals and organizations calling for the closure of LGBT+ Rights Ghanas’ office space, the arrest of its members, and proposing laws to criminalize LGBT+ persons. While commitments to freedom of association and the rule of law are a cornerstone of every democratic society, the continued backlash targeting members of the LGBT+ community in Ghana by state and non-state actors impugn the country’s image and identification as a democratic state.
Religion should never be used as a weapon of violence, especially as individuals are guaranteed the freedom of religion and beliefs under the law. Sensationalization and misinformation within the media on queer issues further fuel the hate and violence perpetrated against the queer community. We call on all media houses to invest in reporting based on investigation and facts instead of sensationalizing myths and superstitions that fuel moral panic.
As the world is dealing with a global pandemic that has caused severe hardships and brought on damaging impacts on the wellbeing of minority groups like members of the LGBT+ community, we urge the Ghanian government to immediately desist from any action that further endangers the lives and wellbeing of members of an already vulnerable group. We call upon the Ghanaian government to uphold and ensure the freedom of expression and association of LGBT+ Ghanians and further ensure that all persons’ dignity and human rights are respected, in line with its human rights obligations and constitution.
As an African youth-led queer organization, we are committed to standing up for marginalized groups in Africa, especially LGBT+ people. We stand in solidarity with LGBT+ Africans everywhere. Furthermore, we call on governments and allies in Africa to recognize and uphold the human rights of all, especially LGBT+ Africans.
African Queer Youth Initiative (AQYI)
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