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I will resign over amendments to accept gayism — Speaker of Parliament

Author: Edmund Smith-Asante

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has served notice that he will resign over any amendments aimed at decriminalising gayism or lesbianism.

In an interview with the host of Metro Television’s “Good Evening Ghana,” Mr Paul Adom Okyere, he stated categorically that because he had some principles he meant to live by, he would leave the chamber of Parliament if any amendment to Ghana’s Criminal Offences Act was presented to the august House for reading.

He was responding to the hypothetical question: “If tomorrow the Attorney-General were to inform you that Cabinet has approved an amendment to the Criminal Offences Act, in particular, the section that describes as offence unnatural canal knowledge and that you as Speaker must preside over the process of reading the amendment from first to third readings, would you resign as Speaker?”

This is not the first time Prof. Oquaye, known for his strong stance against homosexuality, has expressed his sentiments against the practice.

Since last year, he has been calling for an amendment to Ghana’s laws to completely ban homosexuality.

Although he expressed doubts as to whether decriminalising gayism would ever happen, he sated; “I will not preside over this. You see, there is a time when a man or woman must be guided by some principles. If it happens, and I know it will not happen because we are in Ghana. If it happens, I will leave; I will not preside over that, and I will not be part of that. It will be a matter of serious principles, including my Christian ideals.”


Theresa May

The question posed to the Speaker of Parliament comes in the wake of a pledge made by the British Prime Minister, Ms Theresa May, to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and other African leaders to help them change all laws that were inimical to homosexuals during the Commonwealth Heads of Governments meeting in London last month.

At the meeting, Ms May told the African leaders that it was wrong for homosexuals to be persecuted for their sexual orientation, adding that Britain was, therefore, ready to help African countries to reform their laws to accommodate the interest of homosexuals.

While stating that nobody had to face discrimination and persecution because of who they were or who they loved, Ms May also reportedly indicated that the UK stood ready to support any Commonwealth nation which wanted to reform outdated legislation that made such discrimination possible.

Ghanaians outrage

Since making those statements, however, Ghanaians from all walks of life have given the Prime Minister a lot of flak for her comments, saying Ghana does not need any assistance to change its laws to accommodate homosexuality as part of its culture.

While agreeing that some Ghanaians engaged in homosexual acts secretly, many who joined in the debate said such isolated cases did not make the practice right since it was not part of the Ghanaian culture.

Christian leaders, especially, have condemned the remarks by the British Prime Minister, describing them as an insult and an affront to Ghanaians.

The Chairman of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council and outgoing Chairman of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Professor Opoku Onyinah, who did not hide his outrage on the issue, said the suggestion by Ms May was insulting and against the belief of Christians, Muslims and traditionalists.

A private legal practitioner, Mr Moses Foh-Amoaning, also retorted that Ghanaians were not stupid and knew what was good for the country so Ms May could not advocate the legalisation of homosexuality which was contrary to Ghanaian culture and values. 

Flawed and evil

Prof. Oquaye said Ghanaians also recognised that homosexuals had rights like thieves which showed that the perception of the UK Prime Minister was rather flawed.

He expressed his confidence in the Ghanaian position from the point of view of social research.

Responding to comments made by the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Professor Philip Alston, that he, the Speaker, was deluded over his comments on gay rights; he reiterated that: “If anyone should bring such a thing to Parliament, I would rather resign than subscribe to these delusions.”

Speaking in Akan, he asked - “if we had done it like that before, would the British Prime Minister have come to meet it?”

Still speaking Akan, he asked whether the Prime Minister was not the child of a man and woman.

“It is a phenomenon calculated by Satan to destroy God’s best formation – that’s the human being, he stated, describing the relations between people of the same sex as very evil.

“The Church cannot allow it. God loves the sinner but he hates sin. We love them but we will treat them and get them out of that miserable situation,” he said.

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