In the past week, we’ve found ourselves once again immersed in the homosexuality debate following President Akufo-Addo‘s response to a question on homosexuality on Aljazeera. The President’s response was apt. Typical of Ghanaians, pro-anti tongues have not ceased wagging neither have the inks from pens ceased flowing.
In proper perspective, it’s no secret the practice of homosexuality in Ghana; it’s no secret Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons are expanding. It’s equally no secret our cultural and religious abhorrence of same. The issue at hand is not the practice of homosexuality in Ghana but the idea of state legalization or decriminalization. Some people and groups have taken the President to the cleaners for his comments. But of all those I have heard ot read from criticizing the President, have contributed next to nothing to the debate.
What we are so concerned about are the expressions of personal opinions on the matter (and referring to statements of past leaders in the process) and thinking by that we are addressing the social canker of homosexuality. But of what effects are personal opinions? We keep citing our culture and religions as foundations of our verbal resistance; forgetting that, we have long ago lost our collective culture. We are left with individual and family cultures and morals, which are insufficient in fighting homosexuality. Perhaps the only collective culture left in Ghana are TZ, fufu, kenkey and Akple. lol.
It is important that the Christian Council, Islamic Council or Council of Imams, Traditional Councils and all those vehemently opposed to the legalization of homosexuality to note that the practice, expansion and eventual ‘legalization’ of homosexuality in Ghana is independent of their opposition. Whilst they’re busy talking, homosexuals are penetrating the socio-cultural/religious fibres of our society; taking away our youth in droves.
My fear is that we may end up ‘legalizing’ homosexuality without legislation; the same way we have managed to ‘legalise’ nudity.
The social cost of violating a community norm usually declines as the number of violators increase – C. Jencks
President Akufo-Addo talked about a sufficiently strong coalition that can impact on public opinion; that is what it took for homosexuality to be legalized in other countries. But in Ghana the story may be different. Homosexuals in Ghana may not need a William Wilberforce or Martin Luther King Jr to agitate for them or sponsor legalising. All they may need is for anti-homosexuals to continue talking the way they do; so that they (homosexuals) can continue to penetrate our cultural and religious fibres until such a time that they would have infiltrated every home, every community, every Church and every Mosque and then the question of legalising would be irrelevant.
At the moment, the aggregate of individual morality in respect of homosexuality is high; forcing the practice to continue in secret. But when the time comes for the secret practice to grow bigger than the cultural tenets, then it would dawn on opponents or anti-homosexual campaigners that our collective culture and morality have long been lost. Individual cultures and moralities would be affected and there would be no collective culture to cling to; neither would there be legal remedy.
At the end, when you are affected, dare not lynch. Remember we shouted ‘never again’.
Laws Regarding Homosexuality
Under Ghanaian criminal law, same-sex sexual activity is illegal.
Chapter 6 of the Criminal Code, 1960, as amended by the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act, 2003, provides:
• Section 104. Unnatural Carnal Knowledge.
(1) Whoever has unnatural carnal knowledge —
(a) of any person of the age of sixteen years or over without his consent shall be guilty of a first degree felony and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than twenty-five years; or
(b) of any person of sixteen years or over with his consent is guilty of a misdemeanour; or
(c) of any animal is guilty of a misdemeanour.
(2) Unnatural carnal knowledge is sexual intercourse with a person in an unnatural manner or with an animal.
According to Section 296 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a misdemeanour is punishable by imprisonment; for not more than three years because this applies to Section 1 of the Criminal Code.
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