Legalizing homosexuality not on the agenda but... – Akufo-Addo

Legalizing homosexuality not on the agenda but... – Akufo-Addo
Source: Ghana | | Naa Sakwaba Akwa | Email:
Date: 26-11-2017 Time: 01:11:42:pm

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said legalizing homosexuality is not something his government is considering.

He said the social and cultural environment in the country does not give room for this to be done.

Speaking on Aljazeera’s Talk to Al Jazeera hosted by Jane Dutton the president said until there is a strong call by the society for this to be done, there is no way the laws will be changed.

“This is a social, cultural issue, I don’t believe that in Ghana so far, a sufficiently strong coalition has emerged which is having that impact on public opinion that will say ‘change it, let’s now have a new paradigm in Ghana.’

“At the moment, I don’t feel, I don’t see that in Ghana there is that strong current of opinion that is saying this is something we need to deal with. It is not so far a matter that is on the agenda,” he added.

Although there are no specific laws against homosexuality in Ghana, the country frowns on all sexual acts it deems ‘unnatural’.

Chapter 6 of the Criminal Code, 1960, as amended by the Criminal Code Act, 2003, cautions against unnatural carnal knowledge.

Section 104 states “whoever has unnatural carnal knowledge of (a) 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.

Homosexuals in Ghana are therefore unable to express their sexuality in public, and their calls to law makers to amend the law to make provision for them have been ignored.

This is perhaps because majority of people in the country, who are mostly religious, still see this as an abomination.

In a response to what will make this happen and if he will support it, the president was of the view that, it will take the activities of individuals, groups and public opinion to make it happen.

 He cited examples in other parts of the world where activities of these individuals or groups towards the legalization of homosexualism drove the change in laws, adding when the country gets there, a decision will be taken but for now there is no such support.

 “…I grew up in England at the time that homosexuality was banned there. It was illegal  and I lived a period where British politicians thought it was an item not to even think about. 

"But suddenly the activities of individuals and groups, a certain awareness, a certain development grew and grew stronger and it forced a change in law. I believe that those are the same processes that will bring about changes in our situation,” he added.

Click here to watch the full interview