oye liyjur_thumb_medium440_280The Minister designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur has said she will not promote homosexuality in Ghana.

She however pledged to protect the human rights of all Ghanaians including that of homosexuals.

Appearing before Parliament?s Appointment Committee on Wednesday, Nana Oye Lithur indicated that the issue of whether Ghana should accept homosexuality was a societal issue, which ought to be debated and decided upon by the society.

?I have not said anywhere that I will promote homosexuality. What I have said is to protect the human rights of everybody?.

The nominee had come under attack with regards to her stance on the issue of homosexuality.

Indeed, the Concerned Clergy Association of Ghana who had accused her of promoting the practice of homosexuals in Ghana, sent a petition to the Appointments Committee requesting for the nominee to state her position on the issue to enable Parliament decide on approving her or otherwise.

When Oye Lithur appeared before the committee, members took turns to ask questions on her stance on homosexuality, but before then, the nominee was asked to withdraw her curriculum vitae (CV) and present an amended version since the one presented to the committee was considered to be clumsy.

It was the Member of Parliament for Ledzorkuku, Mrs Benita Okiti Duah who asked the first question with regards to the nominee?s stance on homosexuality.

The nominee explained that what she has been doing was promoting the human rights of all Ghanaians irrespective of sexual preferences but when pressed further by Member of Parliament for Akwatia, Baba Jamal to state her position on whether she supported the practice of homosexuality, she said her view on the subject was personal.

But when pressed further Nana Oye Lithur said the constitution of Ghana was supreme and so long as it has not criminalized the practice of gays and lesbianism, their rights have to be protected.

She said her actual stance on gay and lesbianism was personal and believed that society should debate on the issue.

She denied ever advocating for homosexuality to be legalized but rather she advocated that the rights of every Ghanaian including homosexuals must be protected.

When Dominic Azumah, MP for Garu asked ?Do you condemn homosexuality and think it is a practice which should not be entertained in Ghanaian society?.

She said, ?my values are shaped by what I have read in the Bible which speaks about loving your neighbour as yourself?.

Touching on other issues, Nana Oye said she believed that nobody should be killed through death penalty.

On the Right to Information Bill which was not passed under the Mills-Mahama administration of which she criticised the NDC party, she stated that when approved as a Minister, she will use her position and advocacy skills to get the bill passed into law.

She clarified that she was not a politician.

?I am not a politician in the sense that I do not belong to any political party but I believe in the President Mahama?s vision. When I was nominated, I read the President?s vision and better Ghana agenda which I support because, it is about all inclusion and the NDC social charter talks about people matter, you matter and that is why you see me here and I still do not have a party card?.

On the issue of the existence of witches camps in the country she said it was a cultural problem and despite amendment of the criminal code to criminalise it, the problems still exist which means that passing a law to protect the rights of women in the camps has not helped.

?I believe we need to adopt a community approach engaging the communities to change their perceptions and make the camp a community where others can come and stay?

Nana Oye said the issue of head porters (Kayayei) was a development issue that relates to poverty, rural urban migration and employment and that as long as we don?t distribute resources evenly across the country, we will always have the problem of young girls migrating to Accra to seek greener pastures.

We need to ensure resources are divided and go across the country evenly, this would help prevent young girls from migrating to the south to seek greener pastures

Earlier on, the nominee for Local Government and Rural Development Ministry, Akwasi Oppong Fosu also faced the appointment committee.

He stated that he will ensure that the MMDAs will fully implement their action plans for the country to have a clean and safe environment.

But the Assemblies have a responsibility to deliver on their mandate and the general public also have the responsibility to keep the environment clean so he will ensure that everyone does his or her part.

He said he will consider outsourcing of revenue collection.



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