A U.S.-based group identified by LGBTQ groups as being linked to far-right messages has reportedly been influencing efforts to attack gay individuals in Ghana. According to Buzzfeed News, the Family Research Council, a longtime opponent of same-sex relationships, has asked its followers to campaign in support of the anti-gay Ghanaian politician and former cabinet minister Babu Owusu Afriyie. Afriyie, who was elected to Ghana’s Parliament in April, has been vocal about his commitment to cracking down on the LGBTQ community. According to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the MP has called for prayers to be held to rid Ghana of the “deviants” who may have been influenced by a United States evangelical Christian organization, the Fellowship of Worshipers International, under his ministry.
A document the ministry published two weeks ago – circulated online as “A Call to Action” – went further, detailing the alleged interactions between the Fellowship and Afriyie.
In a testimony that appears to be from the director of operations of the Fellowship, Brent Alex, Afriyie refers to a “Spiritual Meeting with Abweh … who is supposed to guide you through his guidance. Abweh also advised me to provide a moratorium on marriage. He said that it was up to God to decide what should be done.”
Abanigbe couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Afriyie has reportedly urged his fellow politicians to join him in urging the prosecution of those who have exposed the identities of people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV) in the country. He says the possible exposure is “denigrating and damaging to the image of our country.” He also claims that the HIV and AIDS awareness campaign, conducted by groups working with those living with HIV and AIDS, such as Health GAP and Medecins Sans Frontieres, is promoting “counterfeit intervention.”
Ghana has also announced that it will undertake a four-month crackdown on the LGBTQ community. “There will be zero tolerance for homosexual acts across the entire fabric of our economy,” Mbaye Tengerra, Ghana’s health minister, said. “These acts should not be condoned by our society.” Ghanaian HIV and AIDS experts have also condemned the crackdown, saying that it would be damaging to the fight against HIV and AIDS.
The Family Research Council has received millions of dollars in grants from the conservative American Evangelical Fellowship, which has ties to the Family Research Council.