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Ms Laureta Vivian Lamptey Remarks to Peace FM

Ms Laureta Vivian Lamptey Remarks to Peace FM

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Published by African Activist

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Published by: African Activist on Aug 15, 2011
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Transcript of Ms Laureta Vivian Lamptey’s Remarks to Peace FM
http://news.peacefmonline.com/news/201108/61962.phpI am not going to give my stand on homosexuality. That was not even the question I wasasked…The question was, “What is your view about the debate?” I said that the debatewas going on about human rights and the point I was trying to make was, yes there is arights discussion, but I did not that that it was an issue for CHRAJ at the moment. For acouple of reasons I said that homosexuals have rights as individuals that don’t need to belegislated. They have rights against nondiscrimination, against defamation. I pointed outthat murderers, even convicted murderers, something totally abhorrent in our society, if you attack a murderer, the state will protect that murderers rights to be protected and will jail you for slapping that murderer or beating them or shooting them or whatever. Thoserights go beyond you being gay. They are your rights as a citizen, they are universalrights. But if the reason you are attacked is because you are gay, you have rights, the statewill protect that. So it is that first and foremost, that they have rights anyway. The debatemakes is sound like gays are being persecuted and I felt that they do have rights against persecution. Point one. Secondly, there was a question about the debate being about bigger rights like same sex marriage. I said that I don’t think that the country is ready for that at all. I think we are far from that. That even the countries where they recognize civilunions or even formal marriages, they did not get there overnight. It developed, their communities developed and gay activists lobbied and there came a point when the societywas ready to give those categories of people those rights. They didn’t have them and thatis how rights and law develop, they develop to meet the needs of the society. Society saysthat we think this is a good thing, we think this is not a good thing but we are a tolerantsociety and we want to allow these people these rights. So I said that I don’t think we arethere. I think we are far from there. I was not giving you a view of wether we should or shouldn’t be, I was talking about my view of what is. I don’t think as a society we areready to give homosexuals, lesbians…the whole category of people any of those kinds of rights. I think we have religious, moral, traditional, many, many barriers to that. And Idon’t think we have to simply copy the Western world on everything because someonecan say this is where you should be in terms of rights of individuals. I think we should bewherever our country should be and no two countries are the same. So that in terms of theadditional rights. However, the main point I wanted to make was that the debate has beenabout rights and I think the real issue is the legal side of things and that it doesn’t makesense to me, there is some illogic arguing for increased rights for homosexuals and at thesame time saying that by law homosexuality is a criminal offense because if that law weare all meant to be law abiding citizens. How can we say it is criminal then you wantcharge to protect the very activity that is criminal. That was the crux of my point. I wassaying that in theory, it is said that it is criminal, and therefore first of all, thereforenobody should be looking to CHRAJ or any human rights to be promoting the rights, protecting the rights of individuals to conduct an activity that the law says is criminal. Somy point was that we should focus on the law, not that we should decriminalize it, butthat the debate should not be focused on the rights and protection of rights that are perhaps not there yet. Because what the law says, because at the end of the day I am alawyer, but even as a non lawyer, we want to encourage law abiding citizens. So if there

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