• Social media has been riddled with discussions on LGBTQ+ rights and act
• Some 8 MPs put the bill before parliament to push for the criminalization of LGBTQ+ activities
• Some other groups of 18 renowned lawyers and professionals want the bill thrown out as it violates fundamental human rights
The issue of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Intersex Rights (LGBTQ+) act and rights has become a subject for discussion in the country for weeks now.
Like a raging fire, social media has been riddled with discussions on the subject, topping trends and people who support the act are coming out with those who disagree with the act are boldly stating so.
These conversations on the rights of persons of the LGBTQ+ community in Ghana have resurfaced mainly after news broke of the opening of a new office for persons of this sexual orientation in Accra.
While some 8 Members of Parliament have presented a bill before parliament to criminalize the act of LGBTQ+, a group of 18 renowned lawyers and other professionals have also sent a memorandum to parliament for the bill to be thrashed, stating that it violates the fundamental human right guaranteed in the constitution.
But what have our presidents under the Fourth Republic been saying, or, said about the subject, of course, without that of the late former president, Jerry John Rawlings.
GhanaWeb highlights what Ghana’s presidents have been saying about the subject, starting with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
In February 2021 President Akufo-Addo publicized his stance on the matter of same-sex marriage.
“I have said it before, and let me stress it again, that it will not be under the Presidency of Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo that same-sex marriage will be legalized in Ghana.”
“It will never happen in my time as President… Let me repeat, it will never happen in my time as President,” he stated when he joined the Mampong Ashanti Diocese of the Anglican Church for the installation of the second Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Ghana.
John Dramani Mahama had similar comments as his predecessor and former boss, John Atta Mills.
Speaking through his Information Minister at the time, Mahama Ayariga, the former president indicated that the act is criminal and punishable under the laws of Ghana.
“The President is to execute the laws of Ghana. And the laws of Ghana are very clear on homosexuality. The laws of Ghana appal and criminalize homosexuality, there is no dispute about that. Homosexual conduct which is unnatural canal knowledge of one person or another is criminal and punishable by the laws of Ghana,” he said.
John Evans Atta Mills
For John Evans Atta Mills, his was an emphatic “No” statement on the subject of LGBTQ+.
In an interaction with the media during his presidency, and in reaction to comments by the British Premier David Cameron that they may consider cutting aid to Ghana should the country not legalize gay rights, the late former president was forthright, ruling out any possibility of the legalization of same.
He added that Cameron was entitled to opinions, stressing that laws must take into account the cultures and histories of a given people.
“Let me make one thing very clear: no one can deny Prime Minister Cameron his right to make policies, take initiatives or make statements that reflect his societal norms and ideals but he does not have the right to direct other sovereign nations as to what they should do especially when their societal norms and ideals are different from those which exist in Prime Minister Cameron’s society.
“I, as president of this nation, will never initiate or support any attempts to legalize homosexuality in Ghana. As a government, we will adhere by the principles enshrined in our constitution which is supreme. Let me also say, that while we acknowledge all the financial assistance and all the aid which have been given to us by our development partners, we will not accept any aid with strings attached if that aid will not inure to our interest or the implementation of the utilization of that aid with strings attached would rather worsen our plight as a nation, or, destroy the very society we want to use the money to improve,” he said.
In 2019, during the meeting of members of the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values and John Agyekum Kufuor, he urged the world to fight against same-sex marriages.
He stated that no amount of argument could change the fact that without man and woman, there would be no human race, a Ghanaian Times report said.
He added that the promotion of same-sex marriages is unnatural and immoral behaviour in Ghana and Africa at large, and is totally unnecessary and dangerous because humanity could not continue if such acts were condoned.
“No one was born gay, people just want to convince us to accept this blatant lie, but let us show them that we are real Africans, we cannot fight against nature and win. We will not conform to such disgraceful activities, even in Europe, the majority of the people do not encourage homosexuality. As long as they remain in the minority, let us keep pushing till they accept that LGBT is not right and persons who identify as such, rather need some kind of help instead of forcing it on Africans.”
Earlier, during his presidency, John Agyekum Kufuor had opposed a gay conference that was supposed to be held in Ghana.