By Nita Bhalla NAIROBI, Feb 23 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Anti-gay outcry has forced Ghana’s first LGBT+ community centre to temporarily close to protect its staff and visitors three weeks after it opened, its founder said on Tuesday. Church groups, politicians and anti-gay rights organisations who have called on the government to shut down the centre, run by local charity LGBT+ Rights Ghana, and arrest and prosecute those involved. “We did not expect such an uproar,” said Alex Kofi Donkor, director of LGBT+ Rights Ghana, which hosted an opening event on Jan. 31 attended by European and Australian diplomats. “We expected some homophobic organisations would use the opportunity to exploit the situation and stoke tension against the community, but the anti-gay hateful reaction has been unprecedented,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. LGBT+ people face widespread persecution in the West African nation where gay sex is punishable with up to three years imprisonment. Ghana has not prosecuted anyone for same-sex relations in years, but LGBT+ people face frequent abuse and discrimination, including blackmail and attacks, human rights researchers say.