'No' to gay rights: Ghana leader, despite aid cuts threat
Ghana's leader on Wednesday vowed not to back any bid to legalize homosexuality in the west African country, scoffing at Britain's threat to cut off aid to countries that fail to recognise gay rights.
"I, as president of this nation, will never initiate or support any attempts to legalize homosexuality in Ghana," John Atta Mills told reporters. British Prime Minister David Cameron said at the weekend that his country will consider withholding aid from countries that do not recognise gay rights.
Atta Mills said Cameron "...does not have the right to direct other sovereign nations as to what they should do especially where their societal norms and ideals are different from those that exist" in Britain.
Cameron made the threat after Commonwealth leaders failed to adopt a recommendation to call for an end to homophobic laws in the 41 member nations at their summit in Perth, western Australia.
Britain is one of the main budgetary donors to Ghana, a former British colony which is also hailed as a rare example of a stable democracy in Africa.
"We recognise the assistance we receive from donors but we will not accept aid coming with strings attached," he said.
In July, a Ghanaian cabinet minister called for the arrest of homosexuals in the country following media reports alleging that the new oil-producing western region of the country had seen a proliferation of gay people.
© 2011 AFP