IBM: Denounce Ghana's Order to 'Arrest all Gays'
  • Petitioned Joe Mensah

This petition was delivered to:

General inquiries IBM Ghana Office
Joe Mensah
Media Relations manager, Middle East & Africa
Arlene Wainstein
External Relations Leader for Sub-Saharan Africa
Vera Oloo Rosauer
External Relations Leader, West Africa
George Enema
Program Director, GLBT and International Programs, Global Supplier Diversity
Irwin Drucker
Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Communications
Ronald Gordon
Program Manager, Media Coordinator
Sherry Robison
Growth Markets Unit External Relations
Jonathan Batty
Lead Development Representative for Sub-Sahara Africa
Benoit Clavel
Program Manager, Africa Supply Diversity
Christoph Kolbe

IBM: Denounce Ghana's Order to 'Arrest all Gays'

    1. Jay Breneman
    2. Petition by

      Jay Breneman

      Erie, PA

IBM has been on the forefront of human rights, particularly LGBT rights in the workforce, often praised for being the most 'gay friendly' employer, called a pioneer in supplier diversity, and recipient of many other awards for their diversity and equality efforts.

Recently, IBM opened a subsidiary in the west African country of Ghana, and even partnered with the University of Ghana to expand their technology commitment and R&D potential. IBM hopes to expand their collaboration with Ghana, while local industry and government look forward to the tools and resources that IBM can provide; such efforts will likely bolster Ghana's self-sufficiency, and improve their marketability on the global market in a number of industries. 

In a disgusting and abhorrent move, Ghana's Western Region Minister Paul Evans Aidoo called for the immediate arrest of all persons 'suspected of homosexual activity' in the region, ordering law enforcement agencies and even landlords to turn people in and make the arrests.

This is more than discrimination; it is pure hatred and violence, and threatens the citizens of Ghana, and international tourists and business people visiting the African country.

Given IBM's commitment to equality, it is vital that they denounce Minister Aidoo's arrest order, and demand the end to violence and discrimination against LGBT in Ghana.

Send a message to IBM: Silence kills, but your voice can save!

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Man Seeks Refuge in Canada Because of Rising Homophobia & Violence in Ghana

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      Korak is a gay man who recently fled West Africa. He’s from Ghana’s second largest city, Kumasi, in the centre of the country’s Ashanti Region.

      Korak’s story Although Korak is now safely in Canada, he prefers to remain anonymous and his name here is a pseudonym. This is his story.

    2. Gay Teen Flees Ghana After Partner Stoned to Death by Community

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      Already displaced by tribal warfare in his homeland, a young man witnessed a community mob stone his friend to death for being gay. The young man fled to another part of region, only to be attacked for being gay, only to be rescued by two foreign aid workers. They provided him with the chance to flee the persecution he faced in Ghana, and he now lives abroad.

    3. Ghana Education Ministry Targets Homosexuality in Schools

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      "Ahead of World AIDS day which falls on December 1, Paul Krampah, the Ministry’s Public Relations Officer, in an interview with Xfm 95.1 said the Ministry’s HIV/AIDS Secretariat has trained teachers who in turn act as facilitators to educate students on the menace of homosexuality and its adverse consequences including HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases."

    4. IBM Chooses Ghana as Center for Rapid Expansion in African Markets

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      “The center, located in Accra, will serve clients and business partners in Ghana and 16 other African countries,” said IBM.

      The procurement centre will serve Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Seychelles, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

    5. 3 Gay Men Arrested in Ghana

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      The police arrested three men on Friday for allegedly engaging in homosexual practice in the port of Tema, 38 km east of the capital Accra.

      The Sakumono district police commander, Superintendent Alex Awolo, confirmed to local journalists the arrest of Samuel Lartey, Inusah Fuseini and another one, Quansah.

      Awolo informed the press that Lartey accused Fuseini of having unnatural carnal knowledge of him while the third person, Quansah, was also said to be present while the act took place.

      The police commander emphasized that the trio were being held on an allegation of sodomy, a practice that was illegal as far as the laws of the West African country were concerned.

    6. MPs endorse Prez Mills' anti-gay Ghana

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      Ghana’s Parliament has sent a clear signal to gays and lesbians that it is in no mood to entertain any proposed legislation, which will seek to legalise homosexuality in the country.

      The MP's were speaking after MP for Ablekuma North, Hon Joe Appiah, made a statement on the floor, calling on Ghanaians to, as he put it, disrespect homosexuality and all its privileges.

    7. No gay rights in Ghana says president

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      "I, as president of this nation, will never initiate or support any attempts to legalise homosexuality in Ghana," John Atta Mills told reporters.

    8. Twenty-Thousand Petition for IBM's Leadership on LGBT Rights in Ghana

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      The message is clear: IBM, given your past work on advancing justice in the workplace and the community, it is disheartening to hear absolutely nothing from you. You want to invest heavily in Ghana's market, yet you are silent when it comes to standing in solidarity with the persecuted and scapegoated. Is this how you will define your future and on-going presence in Ghana?

    9. Reached 20,000 signatures
    10. UK official threatens to reduce aid to Africa's anti-gay regimes

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      A spokesman for the UK's International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, said: 'The Government is committed to combating violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in all circumstances, in this country and abroad. We take action where we have concerns.

      'We now allocate funds every three months, rather than every year, so that we can review a country's performance, for example on human rights, and take swift action when governments fall short. We only provide aid directly to governments when we are satisfied that they share our commitments to reduce poverty and respect human rights.' (source: Daily Mail)

      Mr. Mitchell has been critical of the recent anti-gay fervor sweeping Ghana, as well as other African countries where harsh prosecution and oppression has occured. Thankfully, the UK government has the will to stand for LGBT rights in Africa. Hopefully, others (e.g large multi-national firms that invest millions) will follow their lead.

    11. Gay Ghanians Come Out as Civil Society Abandons Them

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      Fed up with both day after day of nasty newspaper headlines and one civil society leader after another abandoning them, last Friday Accra's gay community came out, one-by-one, at a major 'straight' forum.

      It is exhilarating to hear about this, and scary too, given the mounting hate and oppression being dealt them recently. This is precisely the time that an organization like IBM needs to send their support, even one as simple as a statement in solidarity.

      IBM, why the silent treatment? If these Ghanians had the courage to speak up, why don't you?

    12. Director of Ghana's AIDS Commission Decries Homosexuality as a Threat

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      Dr. Angela El-Adas, Director General of Ghana's AIDS Commission recently stated that “it is important that all hands are on deck to reduce the number of young people who are lured into MSM (Men having Sex with Men)” and she further called on “all religious leaders, traditional authorities, educationist, parents and NGOs working with young people to get involved..."

    13. IBM Announces Further Expansion in Africa, Increase to Community Service

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      While rapidly expanding their presence in Africa, IBM plans to send about 600 employees to to the continent through 2015 as part of their public service campaign. IBM has yet to express concern or speak out against rising discrimination & homophobia.

    14. Reached 15,000 signatures
    15. Analysis on Comments made by Ghana's Attorney General / Justice Minister

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      "It is...paradoxical...for the Justice Minister to maintain...that his ministry and the government have no specific policy on homosexuality, while...insisting that the British colonial law proscribing homosexual practice will not be scrapped."

    16. Reached 10,000 signatures
    17. IBM Fails to Support Ghana's LGBT

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      While willing to invest tens-of-millions of dollars to improve Ghana, IBM remains utterly silent on the ongoing anti-gay rhetoric & planned gay 'conversion' centers, even after 8,500+ people have asked IBM to take a stand. What are they waiting for?

    18. 'We Will Not Decriminalize Homosexuality' says Ghanaian President

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      Ghana's President Mills vows to maintain unjust law. Further confirmation that equality is not on his administration's agenda.

    19. Reached 8,000 signatures
    20. Homosexuality: Ghana's Public Enemy Number One

      Joe Mirabella
      Petition Organizer

      Last month, we learned of very disturbing news from Ghana. The diverse west-African nation of 24-million people had plunged head-on into the murky waters of extreme homophobia, quickly closing the gap with Uganda and Nigeria, where ever-escalating...

    21. Reached 4,000 signatures
    22. Send a message to the U.S. State Dept.

      Jay Breneman
      Petition Organizer

      Please sign a 2nd petition calling for the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, and the U.S. State Department to demand that Ghana rescind the vile arrest order immediately. The link can be found above this message.

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Ashynn Randolph MARIETTA, OH
      • almost 3 years ago

      Everyone has a right to love who they are attracted to. Stop Discrimination and violence again LGBT

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mike Carner LINDSTROM, MN
      • almost 3 years ago

      Love has no limits.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
      • almost 3 years ago

      Why do you hate those different from you? Gays never hurt you~~why do you want to hurt them. Get educated & stop your hate, Get a lobotomy, garnellprostinak@gmail.com 12/17/11

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Sarah VanSickle INDIANAPOLIS, IN
      • almost 3 years ago

      Because I was once an IBM employee, and I was proud to work for a company that did so much for the LGBT community. I urge them to continue to do so.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Niklas Bengtsson HUDIKSVALL, SWEDEN
      • almost 3 years ago

      This is in no way different than saying "arrest all black people" or "arrest all foreigners" or even "kill everyone under the age of 20". The problem isn't just this one order, but the whole country's view on the subject matter: sexuality. It's horrible beyond words and needs to be stopped immediately.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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