Homosexuality: Don’t elevate a disorder to a right – Lawyer

Homosexuality: Don’t elevate a disorder to a right – Lawyer
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Jerry Tsatro Mordy | Email: jerry.mordy@myjoyonline.com, Twitter: @jerrymordy
Date: 27-11-2017 Time: 01:11:14:pm
Moses Foh-Amoaning.

A Law lecturer at the Ghana School of Law, Moses Foh-Amoaning has cautioned against giving prominence to the debate over whether or not Ghana should amend its laws and legalise homosexuality.

According to him, the practice of homosexuality is purely a psychiatric problem and persons suffering from such a condition must be helped instead of being granted a right to engage in.

“The difficulty is the elevation of what is clearly a psychiatric problem,” Mr. Foh-Amoanging, told Kojo Yankson on the Joy FM Super Morning Show, Monday, November 27, 2017, "to a human rights issue."

The debate over the country giving recognition to same-sex marriage was stoked after the president, Nana Akufo-Addo, in an interview with international news network Aljazeera, said the country's culture and tradition, for now, do not allow the legalisation of homosexuality but was quick to add that if public opinion changes, the law may just be amended.

“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.

Under Ghanaian criminal law, same-sex sexual activity is illegal. It describes the act as “unnatural carnal knowledge" under Chapter six of the Criminal Code (Amendment) Act, 2003. 

But Foh-Amoaning, who belongs to National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, believes some gay rights advocates are heavily crafting an agenda to refuel the debate.

“We have information about the gay community pumping money to journalists to do the propaganda. So there is a lot of money; there is a lot of strategies they have put behind this and that’s why they are putting pressure on our presidents and our leaders," he claimed.

Mr. Foh-Amoaning challenged President Akufo-Addo to stand by his moral values as well as his election campaign mantra –the battle is the Lord’s – and resist every attempt to coerce him to yield to the pressure from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

He argued: “…if we the people who gave him the power tell him that 'Mr. President, we believe in you [and] we trust you; the battle is the Lord’s, go and wage this battle for Africans. Stand up and say ‘you [West] say you like same-sex, keep it to your side, you say you don’t like polygamy [and] you’ve criminalised it fine with us’. And if you speak like that Ghanaians will support you and God will bless this country.”

Christian Council

General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev. Dr. Kwabena Opuni Frimpong has also demanded that government states in clear terms the country's stance on homosexuality is.

He said like the late president John Evans Attah Mills, the president must be clear on his stance because as far as he is concerned the country will not accept homosexuality.

“He [late Mills] was very exact and that is what we want to hear from our leaders today or tomorrow.

“Maybe I didn’t hear him well, so somebody should come and explain to us exactly what the policy direction of this government is as far as same-sex marriage is concerned, it will help us,” he told Joy News on Sunday.

Policy viewpoint

Policy Analyst, Kofi Bentil says debating the issue is a waste of time and scarce resources which the government cannot readily afford.

In the opinion of Mr. Bentil, the nation would be better off not spending time over the matter although he found the position of the law on same-sex marriage is discriminatory.

“Today the law says that it is illegal, even though that law is discriminatory. Those of us who are even against it [same-sex] do not think that we should do anything concerning the present law on homosexuality. We should just leave it at that and go on and discuss other things.

Kofi Bentil, who is also the Vice President at IMANI Africa, said: “This is not the proper use of government time or resources. Let us leave this matter alone because it is nobody’s business trying to control what other people do.”