Having served for the past 9 months as UK High Commissioner observing and interacting with Ghanaians from different spheres, Iain Walker has cleared the air on the raging volatile issue on homosexuality and the role his home country is playing as far as the topic is concerned.
He stressed that contrary to what many believed to be the stance, UK would never dictate terms to Ghana as far as laws on the community of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer rights were concerned.
“Ghana’s a very tolerant country. I well understand the fact that many LGBT people live in societies and are not persecuted. They are accepted and there’s the tolerance of it… I think we say that we in the UK helped create laws that were unintentionally or at the time intentional but now unintentionally discriminatory. We feel the responsibility that if countries wish to change those laws we’d like to find a way of helping and that’s what Theresa May was saying when she spoke to all members of the commonwealth,” he stated.
In an address earlier in the year UK Prime Minister Theresa May suggested that Commonwealth nations overhaul “outdated” anti-gay laws and said the UK “deeply regrets” its role in the legacy of violence and discrimination.
The prime minister drew cheers and applause when she told delegates at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that “nobody should face discrimination or persecution because of who they are or who they love”.
Speaking at the event in London, Ms May said “I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my own country. They were wrong then and they are wrong now.
In several African countries, Ghana included law makers and Christian leaders condemned Mrs. May for her utterance with some describing it as repugnant.
But in an interaction with Ghanaweb’s editor on 21 Minutes with KKB, Iain Walker responding to a question on whether the UK would withdraw aid to Ghana if it failed to pass the gay law said that “We are a country that works with Ghana, we don’t dictate terms to Ghana. That’s not how we have ever been and how we will ever be so I think what what we’re saying is that we should as friends, as partners we should be able to discuss things over which we don’t always agree. That is the basis of friendships…”