Two Members of Parliament (MP) have condemned the activities of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) groups in the country.
According to the MP for Assin South, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, and Bawku Central MP, Mr Mahama Ayariga, Ghanaian laws abhorred the practice of homosexuality and must, therefore, be identified and dealt with according to law.
“They don’t have the right to practise gay or lesbianism so they cannot say their rights have been violated. You don’t have the right to be gay or lesbians in Ghana,” Mr Ayariga stated.
Since news broke about the inauguration of an office for LGBTQI in Accra, there have been outpourings of condemnation and calls for the closure of the office.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, Mr Ayariga said as matters stood, the law criminalising sodomy remained in the country’s statute books “so no one has a right to be a practitioner of sodomy or lesbianism or however called”.
He, however, said anyone caught in the act enjoyed the rights of due process of law in the sense that they should not be lynched or beaten and assaulted.
“They should be treated like any suspect for any other offence,” he stated.
Speaking from a legal perspective, he said, it was important that Ghanaians differentiated the practice of LGBTQI and advocacy.
“In the case of people who are just advocating the decriminalisation of sodomy and unnatural canal knowledge, I take a legal position that there is a constitutional right to free expression and association to advocate the decriminalisation of the sodomy laws of Ghana,” he said.
Mr Ayariga said if those setting up the offices or advocating were LGBTQIs, then they were engaged in criminal activities and could be individually investigated to establish if they could be prosecuted.
“If the office is created by citizens who don’t identify themselves as actual gays but are just people sympathetic to the cause of the LGBTQI community and want to advocate the law to change to decriminalise sodomy and lesbianism and transgender activities, then we must appreciate the fine balance between advocacy for a change of the law on LGBTQI acts in Ghana and the actual practice of sodomy.
Assin South MP
For his part, Rev. Ntim Fordjour pointed out that LGBTQI was an “abomination and utterly abhorred,” hence must not be encouraged in the country.
“Since the pre-colonial era, Ghana has always upheld a culture of morality and decency and within our cultural and traditional contexts,” he stated.
It said activities of LGBTQIs in Ghana were due to pressures from the western world which must be resisted.
“The influence of the West on our society relating to LGBTQI infiltrations remain an age-old pressure, which must be resisted as long as the pressure shows no indication of abating,” he added.
In a statement, Rev. Ntim Fordjour pointed out that Section 104 of Ghana’s Criminal Code proscribes LGBTQI with the specific provision of “unnatural carnal knowledge”.