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Jul 13, 2011

Thousands Attend First Anti-gay Protests In Ghana

Thousands of angry youth in the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolis have staged a massive demonstration against recent reports of gay and lesbian parties in the oil city.
The demonstration on Friday June 4, is the first ever anti-gay protests in Ghana.The over a thousand protesters defied a downpour to register their displeasure as they went through the principal streets of the metropolis wielding placards.
The demonstration was organised by the Muslim community in Takoradi with support from other religious groups and concerned citizens. It follows recent reports of alleged gay marriages and parties in Tanokrom and other suburbs of the city.

At the Tanokrom get-together, close to 60 gays and lesbians from the Eastern, Ashanti and Central regions, are said to have attended.
In 2009, Takoradi captured news headlines for allegedly hosting series of gay parties whilst over 2,000 registered homosexuals are said to be roaming the Twin City, according to the Western Regional Focal Person on HIV/AIDS, Dr. Roland Sowah.

The Leader of the demonstrators, Saeed Hamid, told Citi News the demonstration was meant to draw government’s attention to the conduct of the gays and lesbians in the country, particularly in the Western Region.
The group in a petition presented to the Western Regional Minister Paul Evans Aidoo said it is much concerned about the involvement of the youth in the practise which they say could jeopardise their future.
They are asking government to clearly state what the law says about homosexuality and possibly criminalize the practice.

Mr. Saeed Hamid said a lot of expatriates in Tarkwa and Takoradi working in the mining and oil industry were the ones luring the innocent youth into the practice by influencing them with money.
He said most of the young boys involved in the practise are having health problems and are wearing pampers.
“How would you feel, if someone puts his penis into your anus?” He queried.
He was worried that Takoradi is gradually becoming a hub for gays and lesbians hence their decision to resist the ‘’ungodly act’’.

According to the anti-gay and Lesbians group, even though people had the right to chose various sexual orientations and associate with whatever group they desire, Ghana as a country mainly occupied by Christians and Muslims, should not embrace such a practise, saying it could have dire consequences on the country.
“Ghana will suffer more than the experience of Sodom and Gomorrah, should we embrace this practice in this country,” he noted.

Receiving the petition on behalf of the President, the Western Regional Minister Paul Evans Aidoo assured the demonstrators that steps would be taken to address their concerns.
He however advised the group not to take the law into their own hands by attacking the alleged gays and lesbians in their communities since that would be a breach of the law.
The group has given indications that it would organise a nationwide protest if no positive response is heard from the government after two months.

The Western Regional Police Commander DCOP Mahama Hamidu, who led his men to offer protection to the demonstrators, described the march as peaceful.-