Parliament confirmed Oye's nomination "despite stiff opposition by the clergy and several institutions" who were opposed top her "liberal" position on gays and same-sex relations. Previous remarks by the human rights attorney "indicate[d] that she was pro-gay" reports Denis Nzioka at Identity Kenya.
A group calling itself 'Concerned Clergy Association of Ghana' mid last month opposed Ms Oye’s appointment as Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection saying she was a 'proponent and supporter of gay rights'.
Presbyterian Moderator Prof Emmanuel Martey had described her as a lady with little integrity and protested her nomination and approval. "To appoint Ms Oye to this sensitive position as a Gender, Children, and Social Protection Minister is detrimental to our social cultural norms and religious beliefs,' group spokesman Bishop Prince Benny Wood is quoted in various outlets.
Oye clarified her position during confirmation, reports the Ghanaian Chronicle via AllAfrica.com.
Nana Oye Lithur denied ever saying that homosexuality should be promoted. "Mr. Chairman, I have never said that homosexuality should be promoted or that I will promote homosexuality. I have never said that homosexuality should be legalized," she noted. However, she told the committee that she is a human rights lawyer, activist and advocate and that "I stand for justice for everybody. And what I said was the rights of everybody, including homosexuals should be protected."
This is a very positive development. The last two years have seen an increase in anti-gay rhetoric coning from elected officials and media in the West African nation.
In the summer of 2011, former President John Atta Mills denounced homosexuality and the Western Region Minister announced the "immediate arrest of all homosexuals." Mills and members of parliament were outraged after British Prime Minister David Cameron suggested that foreign aid should be decreased to countries that do not respect gay rights. Mills died in July 2012.
Same-sex acts between men are prohibited by Ghana's criminal code. The penalty is up to three years in prison. Same-sex acts are currently illegal in at least 38 of 54 African countries. Four nations—Mauritania, Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan—boast the death penalty for gays or same-sex activity. South Africa and Seychelles are the only African nations that protect LGBT rights.
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