A comprehensive crackdown on gay people has been ordered by a minister in Ghana, including asking landlords and tenants to inform on people they think may be gay.
“All efforts are being made to get rid of these people in the society,” Paul Evans Aidoo, the minister for the country’s Western Region is reported to have said.
Pink News says that Aidoo “has directed the Bureau of National Investigations and other agencies to find gay people and bring them before the courts.”
In Ghana, says the gay news outlet, homosexuality is still considered a moral aberration, or even a myth.
And Aidoo says he doesn’t believe estimates published in a local media report that there may be 8,000 gays and lesbians living in the Western Region: “I don’t believe it; nobody believes it. We do not see them.”
Few people in Ghana have been prosecuted for same-sex acts, says Pink News, but homophobic violence is rife.
The country’s constitution guarantees the protection of human rights regardless of “race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, religion, creed or gender”, but, says Pink News, does not mention sexuality.
Sydney’s Star Observer has also taken up the story, saying the move by the minister “follows months of campaigning by the Christian Council of Ghana which last week called on Ghanaians not to vote for any politician who believes in the rights of homosexuals.”
Both Christians and Muslims in region have been protesting since a local media report claimed there were around 8,000 gay men and lesbians in the district.
Aidoo is a Catholic and is married with five children. He became minister for the region in 2009. He’s a member of the National Democratic Congress, and won the seat for Sefwi-Wiawso in parliamentary elections in 2004.