LGBTQI rights: Ayorkor Botchwey flexes muscles at Joe Biden

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The Minister-designate for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor has reacted to United States (US) President, Joseph Biden’s decision to sanction countries yet to make laws that accommodate homosexuals.

While answering a question during her vetting on Thursday, she said Ghana’s laws clearly criminalize homosexuality.

Her statement comes after US President Joe Biden has issued a memorandum aimed at expanding protection of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer and intersex (LGBTQI) people worldwide.

President Biden hinted that the US might use of financial sanctions and visa denials to compel countries to uphold LGBTQI rights.

According to him, all human beings should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear no matter who they are or who they love.

The memo further directs U.S. agencies working abroad to work harder to combat the criminalization by foreign governments of LGBTQI status or conduct, and directs the State Department to include anti-LGBTQI violence, discrimination and laws in its annual human rights report.

But Shirley Botchwey said Ghana is a sovereign country and has its own laws that its citizens must abide by, regardless of the relationship the country has established with other countries.

“Ghana is a sovereign country but as part of our foreign policy we engage countries all over the world; America is one of our strongest friends. But in this country we have laws. And our laws work and must work.

“So in spite of what somebody will say and in this case President Biden, the laws of Ghana criminalizes unlawful carnal knowledge and therefore the laws of Ghana definitely are supreme and that is what we all adhere to,” she noted.

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