Nicola Sturgeon brings up gay rights with Ghanaian President

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has had a conversation with the President of Ghana about gay rights.

Yesterday it was reported that Ms Sturgeon was expected to speak about the issue with President John Dramani Mahama when he visited the Scottish Parliament on Thursday.

According to a Scottish Government spokesman, the two had a “positive and constructive” meeting.

The spokesman told the Scotsman that “The First Minister raised the importance of the Commonwealth values of humanity, equality and tolerance, and there was a specific discussion on LGBTI rights.”

During his visit, Mahama observed First Minister’s Questions, as well as receiving an honorary degree from the University of Aberdeen.

Amnesty International’s Scotland Programme Director, Naomi McAuliffe, said: “MSPs and opposition leaders who declined to meet President John Dramani Mahama at the Scottish Parliament did so due to Ghana’s poor record on human rights.

“Whilst we understand why they took this decision, we did not call for a boycott as this was an opportunity for the First Minister to raise some of our concerns.

“Gay and lesbian 
Ghanaians are at risk because consensual same-sex conduct is a criminal offence, and we have received reports that 
LGBTI people face police harassment.”

However, not all were so prepared to engage in a conversation with the President.

Ms Sturgeon was the only party leader to accept an invitation to applaud the leader.

The SNP leader was the only one to clap, but Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, and Scottish Green Party leader Patrick Harvie refused to do so. Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie was not present.

Same-sex sexual activity between men is illegal in Ghana with those found guilty facing up to three years in prison.

Earlier this year, a lecturer in the country prophesied that churches risk “being dominated by homosexuals” if the clergy fails to stage a “blistering crusade” against same sex marriage in Ghana.

In March, a lawyer in Ghana called for the immediate arrest of students who took part in pornographic movies.

A leading spiritualist in the country also claimed tattoos can influence people to become LGBT, prostitutes or alcoholics.