Some 102 Ghanaian feminists across the globe have expressed solidarity with LGBTQ Rights Ghana in a statement released on Tuesday, February 23.
“We write to show the community that you are not alone,” they said in the statement.
Among these signatories are Ghanaians based in USA, UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, Canada, Netherlands, Nigeria, Senegal and Israel.
“Further, we hope this statement can help other Ghanaians who feel supportive know that they do not have to be cowed by the violent rhetoric of the government, the press, and the religious sector.”
There was backlash recently after a resource centre for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQ ) persons was opened in Accra.
“The violence directed at the community in the wake of their office launch demonstrates the vitriolic conditions under which queer Ghanaians live and why such a community space is needed.
“We reject the current onslaught of religious, media, and state violence meted out against queer ad transgender people, who are simply asserting their God-given right to exist with dignity and safety.”
The feminists believe the backlash is as a result of the moral panic led by the media, religious groups, and political figures.
“Whenever queer Ghanaians demand rights, respect, and safety in our own country, these leaders use the guise of morality and concern to push a violent agenda.
“Their agenda is harmful to queer and trans Ghanaians, and it ultimately seeks to control how all Ghanaians live, regardless of their sexuality.”
They further claim the “patriarchal and colonial construction” of gender and sexuality that shape social expectations and norms not only hurt LGBTQ community but also continue to keep other marginalised groups including poor women, sex workers, people with dreadlocks, among others – oppressed and constantly policed”.
They observed that the rights of LGBTQ persons is supported by Constitution, which calls for freedom and justice.
“We unapologetically and unreservedly stand in support of LGBT people to live with dignity and under safe conditions in Ghana.
“And we call on allies to do the work of speaking up for queer and trans people as they are subjected to violence by the state, religious institutions and the public.”