The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says there is no sufficient reason to warrant the legalization of homosexuality in the country.
According to the president, homosexuality is against Ghanaian custom and tradition especially when the issue of homosexuality is a “socio-cultural issue.”
In most parts of the western world, gay and lesbian rights are enforced and same-sex marriages are legal.
In Africa however, homosexuality is still a vexed issue and the customs and traditions of most African societies including Ghana abhor homosexuality.
In recent times, some western governments have sought to tie aid to the condition that African governments legalise homosexuality.
This notwithstanding, the issue has continued to face stiff resistance from African governments and people.
In an interview with Al-Jazeera on his recent visit to the Qatar, President Akufo-Addo in response to a question as to why homosexuality is still outlawed in Ghana was emphatic that it is not part of our socio-cultural framework and therefore it is not a matter that is even to be considered.
“There is no strong current of opinion that is saying that this is even something that we should deal with” he said. “It is not so far a matter which is on the agenda” he added.
There are sections of the population who however feel that the President’s answer was not a definitive rejection of the idea of legalising homosexuality.
But speaking to journalist in Accra, the Minister for Information, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, who doubles as the President’s Spokesperson, explained that, law is a product of culture and therefore laws cannot be enacted outside the cultural framework.
In his view, what the President meant by homosexuality is “a socio-cultural issue” contending that that it is the reason why law is called “mmra” in Twi. “Oman is nation and mmra is law.
But a combination of the two, Mustapha Hamid stated gives you “amanmere” or “omannmra” also means custom.
He noted that so in answering a question on homosexuality, the President had to necessarily make reference to custom.
“…And to the extent that our customs do not allow homosexuality, no President can legislate against the customs of the people” Mustapha Hamid said.
Responding further to the criticism that the President said that he envisages a future where homosexuality may be lawful, the Information Minister said that customs evolve and therefore the President could not have said categorically that there would never be a period in the future when homosexuality may become an issue.
Mustapha Hamid opined there was a period in history when alcohol was a banned substance in most of the western world but today alcohol is consumed freely and liberally stating that “It is therefore only reasonable to say that there could come a time when homosexuality will not be such an anathema”.
“Even customs evolve and therefore we cannot be sure if the evolution of custom will not make homosexuality an issue in the future” he added.
Homosexuality remains a taboo subject in most African countries and homosexuals cannot openly declare their sexual orientation.
Source: Jeffery De-Graft/thepublisher