By Melanie Nathan, October 03, 2023
Today I appeared and testified as an expert witness in an U.S. Immigration court for a member of Ghana's LGBTQI+ community who is seeking asylum in the United States. The interview below shows a small taste of the horrific rhetoric that is causing Ghanaians much violence and forcing them to leave their country. This is propped up by a climate embroiled in myth and lies underpinning new legislation which the speaker of Ghana's parliament Alban Bagbin promises to enact by the end of this year. I am struck by this video interview by GhanaWeb, which recently came to my attention. It depicts the Dormaahene, Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Dr. Nana Agyemang Badu II, Paramount Chief of Dormaa Traditional Area in the Bono Region, spewing anti-homosexuality rhetoric and violence.
The Chief, who doubles as a High Court judge, also said that he would resign if he was told to recognize the human rights of LGBTI persons. According to him, he recused himself when an LGBTQ related case was brought to him in court.
He speaks about having to recuse himself as a judge in homosexuality related cases because he would want to kill the homosexual. His violent rhetoric is walked back when confronted by the journalist mentioning that he is engaging in hate speech. He then blames his words on the now deceased President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, saying effectively that he was channeling the late president's notorious hateful anti gay speech. What makes his tirade even more disgusting is the Judge's confusion with human sexuality and incest, where he notes being gay is like having sex with your mother. At this time Ghana's Parliament is returning this month to the likelihood of passing the new FAMILY VALUES BILL 2021, (THE PROMOTION OF PROPER HUMAN SEXUAL RIGHTS AND GHANAIAN FAMILY VALUES BILL, 2021) where among other extremely onerous measures people can go to jail for ten years for simply identifying as LGBTQIA+. The resulting violence, a consequence of this pending legislation and the language of leaders such as Chief Dr. Nana Agyemang Badu II, is causing grave harm to LGBTQI+ people, with many fleeing the Ghana to seek protection and asylum in second and third countries.
As hard as it is to listen to such hate, I recommend getting a hit of what it must be like to be a member of Ghana's LGBTQI+ community.
WATCH HERE is the VIDEO: https://www.facebook.com/RightifyGhana/videos/705109994376141
MELANIE NATHAN Executive Director African Human Rights Coalition A country conditions expert witness for LGBTQI+ asylum seekers from Ghana and 19 other African countries. Contact: email@example.com