Idris Elba and Naomi Campbell sign letter backing gay rights in Ghana

Naomi Campbell and Idris Elba (Photograph: Agencies)

Actor Idris Elba and fashion guru Naomi Campbell have signed an open letter to show their support for gay rights in Ghana.

The two Hollywood powerhouse are among some 67 people who have signed the letter in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

In a report by UK-based The Guardian, these influential people including the Vogue editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful said they were “deeply disturbed” by the response from some section of the public against the LGBTQ+ community.

In the letter, the group stated that it is “unacceptable” that members of the queer community feel unsafe in the country.

They urged President Akufo-Addo and other advocates to protect members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The group added they were petitioning for inclusivity which will make the nation “even greater and even stronger”.

Excerpt of the letter reads:

“In recent weeks we have watched with profound concern as you have had to question the safety of your vital work at the LGBT+ Rights Ghana Centre in Accra, and feared for your personal wellbeing and security. It is unacceptable to us that you feel unsafe.”

“As prominent and powerful advocates for this great country, we are beseeching His Excellency, The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and political/cultural leaders to create a pathway for allyship, protection and support. We petition for inclusivity which will make the nation even greater and even stronger.”

The past few weeks have been characterised by a plethora of discussions over LGBTQ+ following the opening of the group’s office in Accra.

The development was condemned by many who saw it as subtle enforcement of the group’s activities which they say flies in the face of the country’s laws, culture and beliefs.

The police together with the landlord on February 24 stormed and locked the LGBTQ office at Ashongman in Accra in the wake of public discourse over their operations.

Pro-gay rights activists in the country argued that the law does not explicitly outlaw the act aside from its criminalisation of unnatural carnal knowledge adding that government must protect their interests as citizens.

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Meanwhile, anti-gay rights advocates, National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Value and religious factions such as the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), National Peace Council, National Chief Imam have further advanced arguments for the government to dispel the ambiguity surrounding the laws on sexuality.

President Akufo-Addo on Saturday, February 27, said same-sex marriage will not be legalised under my Presidency.

Speaking at the installation of the 2nd Archbishop of the Anglican Church held in Asante Mampong, he said “I have said it before, and let me stress it again, that it will not be under the Presidency of Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo that same-sex marriage will be legal.”

Meanwhile, Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has cautioned government to not be swayed by what he described as the tyranny of the masses in relation to the protection of minority groups in the country.

Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh said should government allow itself and its power to be deployed by the majority against minority groups, it further marginalises and victimises these minority groups in the country.