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We're promoting safe communities not homosexuality - US ambassador

The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Palmer, has said that calling for protection of the rights of people of same-sex orientation should stop being misinterpreted as an attempt to promote homosexuality.

We're promoting safe communities not homosexuality - US ambassador

She was talking to JoyNews in an interview on the latter's Foreign Affairs Program. Palmer said that discrimination of any kind is bad, but especially when it targets a minority group with violence and public shunning.

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“We don’t want your straight children to be gay, we want your gay children to be safe and I think it is very important that any sort of threat on one group demonstrates that the rights of other people can be encroached upon," she said.

She added that there is a need for social protection measures to preserve and safeguard the minorities.

Currently in Ghana, initimate same-sex relationships are punishable with a prison term of three years.

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Despite the law against the lifestyle, the first LGBT community centre in Ghana was opened last year in January in the country's capital Accra. In retaliation, the Ghanaian public petitioned for a law to be passed with more stringent punishments.

A few months after the centre was opened, a bill titled "Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values" was proposed.

With the bill, authorities seek to increase jail terms of those caught having same-sex affairs up to a decade. The bill also seeks to make cross-dressing and public displays of same-sex affection punishable by fines or police detention.

The bill also makes the distribution of material deemed pro-LGBT by news organisations or websites illegal.

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