Africa is deeply anti-LGBT. That's a fact. Many African countries have criminalized or are working to criminalize homosexuality. Ghana, for instance, has always had anti-LGBT laws, stemming from British colonialism.
And while those laws have been largely ignored (like most laws in Africa, but we are thankful for this one), Ghanaian president, Nana Akufo-Addo said in a 2017 interview with Al Jazeera that the legalisation of homosexuality in Ghana was “bound to happen”.
But, while giving a speech to a Christian organization, he backtracked on his statements, reaffirming his commitment to his Christian faith, and informing the church that he has no plans to go against his personal faith and decriminalize homosexuality.
Worse, a newly formed organization in Ghana called the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values (NCPHSRFV), on the heels of the President's comments, announced that it has created a gay 'cure' therapy forum and successfully "convinced" 400 people to join the forum.
According to the founder of the coalition, Moses Foh-Amoaning, at the forum themed "Exploring the myths surrounding LGBT rights", the 400 attendees will be given 'counselling' and 'reformation'. He also maintains that the 400 people volunteered to undergo counselling after a 'sexual evangelism' programme — joining what is essentially a gay conversion camp.
The forum will take place in an undisclosed location in Ghana.
The first red flag is that the forum refers to LGBT rights as a myth. That's ridiculous. The second and most important red flag is the history of gay conversion camps.
Many of these programs focus on Bible study and counseling, but other methods have been likened to torture. Over the years, young people have been subjected to chemical castration, electroconvulsive therapy, or nausea-inducing drugs administered while being forced to watch gay pornography.
Worryingly, no "volunteer" has spoken up about joining the forum willingly, so this sounds like another step in the oppression of members of the LGBT community. It needs to stop. All people should be treated equally and fairly regardless of who they are or who they love.
No one should be told their identity is something that can be cured.