Gov’t Has No Plans For Gays―Prez
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reassured Ghanaians that his government will in no way change the laws of the land to suit the desires of gays and lesbians.
According to the President, homosexuality is not just against his religious beliefs but in a larger context, contradicts Ghanaian custom and tradition.
Speaking at the 2018 Synod of the Global Evangelical Church held in Accra, yesterday, the president said, “I do not hesitate to state openly that I am a Christian in politics and will continue to be so and a politician who is deeply influenced by Christian values.
“Let me assure that this government has no plans to change the law on same-sex marriage, we have no authority, and we will not seek any authority to do so, it is well within our reach,” he said.
This succinct statement is one amongst many made by the President to reiterate his stance on the much controversial issue.
It could be recalled that somewhere last year, the President, in an interview with Al Jazeera on why Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights were not legalised in Ghana, said, he did not believe “a sufficiently strong coalition has emerged which is having that impact on public opinion” that would cause a change and adding that, “it is bound to happen.”
Akufo-Addo’s otherwise harmless submissions generated internal controversies in Ghana leaving both critics and well-meaning Ghanaians jaw-dropped on why the president had not been emphatic on his stand.
Others had claimed that his statement was a grand scheme to push for the legalisation of the ‘locally’ abhorred act in Ghana.
Succeeding his “ambiguous” accessions, some human rights and gay communities like the Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) have had their confidence boosted―requesting a repeal of section 104(1)(b) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 prohibiting and punishing “unnatural carnal knowledge.
Despite pressure from leading international bodies and figures, some respected members of society like the Speaker of Parliament have openly stated their stand LGBT and have assured that it will not be legalised.
In Africa, though homosexuality is still a vexed issue, most parts of the western world have legalised same-sex marriages.
Ghana is one of 75 countries around the world where the LGBT rights are still illegal.
In Ghana, gayism is criminal under section 104 of the criminal Code (Act 29), which criminalizes unnatural carnal knowledge.
Persons found to have fallen foul of this law are liable to a prison term ranging from five years to 25 years.
By Grace Ablewor Sogbey