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We won’t make laws to promote gay rights – Speaker

February 21, 2018 5:59 AM
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We won’t make laws to promote gay rights – Speaker

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye, has reiterated his position that the house will not be coerced to pass any legislation that endorses gay rights.

According to him, the human rights arguments often advanced for such rights are not tenable.

“If you tell me that a man must sleep with a man so as to show his human rights for Ghana, I can assure you that our Parliament is a real micropause of the rule of Ghana. Ghanaians do not support gay rights and nobody is going to make any law that will support this kind of thing.”

This is not the first time the Speaker has expressed his reservations about promoting gay rights in Ghana.

In July 2017, Prof. Oquaye warned that leaders in countries like Ghana would not countenance the aggressive push by external forces to accept acts such as homosexuality, bestiality among others.

His caution followed a courtesy call by Amnesty International, where among other things, they made demands including the scrapping of the death penalty from the statute books.

At that encounter, the Speaker stated that African leaders were getting tired of some of the demands with regards to homosexuality on the basis of human rights.

“Following what Tony Blair said which I personally wrote him a letter that if we do not go the homosexual way, it was going to affect their aid to us. Honestly in view of these developments, we Africans are also concerned about certain things that may appear really intellectual …It is becoming a human right in some countries. The right to do homosexuality. The right for a human being to sleep with an animal. We are tired of some of these things and we must be frank about it. ..I think all these matters need to be seriously interrogated …,” the Speaker had said.

In November 2016, President Nana Akufo-Addo had said a change in the law to decriminalize homosexuality is not of concern to Ghanaians at present.

The President, once a human rights activist and a lawyer, had however stated that if activism in favour of the legalization of homosexuality heightens, that could trigger a change in Ghana’s laws.

Without making any definite pronouncement on the issue during the interview, President Akufo-Addo had stated that any possible change will only come after a strong concerted push for LGBT rights from some sections of the public.

“For these socio-cultural issues, I don’t believe that in Ghana so far, a sufficiently strong coalition has emerged which is having that much impact on public opinion that will say; change it,” he stated.

In 2016, some Members of the Scottish Parliament called on their government to confront John Dramani Mahama, who was President at the time, on Ghana’s alleged abuses of its lesbian and gay citizens.

Naomi McAuliffe, Amnesty International’s programme Director in Scotland had said her organisation received regular reports that LGBT people faced police harassment.


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