Lawyer-cum-politician, Freddie Blay, has said Ghanaians should not split heads over which sexual preference two consenting adults opt to enjoy in private and that the ongoing campaign to criminalize all forms of homosexual related activities is needless and hypocritical.
Mr. Blay, current National Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), was emphatic that he was expressing his “personal” views on LGBT as a Ghanaian lawyer and not in his capacity as a political party office holder.
“I am expressing my own opinion on the matter. I don’t subscribe to gayism. It’s a choice. I’m not attracted by them but I don’t want to go into people’s bedrooms. I don’t want to see what they’re doing. If people want to be gays, I think it should be their own problem.
“I won’t go ahead to be a persecutor of those who want to be together as man and man, or woman and woman. I think there’s too much hypocrisy about it. And we’ve been excited, emotions have been excited over it to the extent that we are not sober over it. I honestly don’t see [what] the hullabaloo is all about. We should allow them”, Mr. Blay noted in an interview with Asaase Radio’s Kwaku Nhyira-Addo in Accra last Friday.
Public opinion has been sharply split over the position espoused by Mr. Blay on the rather sticky subject of whether or not to criminalize the activities and promotion of same sex in Ghana.
His comments were in response to a question to seek his views on the sensitive LGBT Bill currently before Ghana’s Parliament.
The LGBT Bill, officially known as the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, if passed into law, would allow for up to 10 years jail term for persons involved in LGBT activities as well as the jailing on any person who broadcasts or publishes any information that is considered to be promoting homosexuality in any way or form in Ghana.
Proponents of the Bill have rejected accusations of homophobia. They explain that the same Bill criminalizes the assault of homosexuals so no one would have the right to attack LGBT persons.
However, they are clear that no LGBT person would be able to promote or partake in any homosexual related deeds.
In direct and plain language, if the Bill had already been passed into Law, Freddie Blay, would have been arrested and jailed up to 10 years over the comments he made on radio to the effect that consenting adults in Ghana have the right to decide their sexual preference.
Advocates of the Bill have argued further it is a well intended one aimed at promoting proper “Ghanaian family values”.
They insist the Bill is necessary because the current laws in Ghana that frown on homosexuality is weak and ambiguous as it only criminalises the act of “unlawful carnal knowledge” under section 104 and section 106 of the Criminal Code of 1960.
Their position is that “unlawful carnal knowledge” is gender biased against gay men but cannot be stretched to capture lesbians and other variants of the LGBT community.
Persons opposed to the Bill have raised counter arguments argued that it is against the sexual rights of consenting adults and that the type of sex consenting adults engage in behind closed doors should not be the concern of another adult outside the door.
Some have also said the Bill would completely gag journalists from discussing LGBT issues and censor their editorial contents.
They insist LGBT people are not criminals but law abiding citizens who should be allowed to decide they type of sex they want to have.
Sponsors of the Bill have in recent weeks complained on the Floor of Parliament that it is has unduly delayed at the Committee level and should be forwarded to the Plenary for readings and approval with a sense of urgency.