President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that decriminalising homosexuality in Ghana is not an urgent concern to Ghanaians at the moment but it is “bound to happen” if there is an overwhelming demand for change in the country’s laws.
Answering questions in an interview with Aljazeera on why Ghana’s laws still criminalise homosexuality, Mr. Akufo-Addo said: “This is the socio-cultural issue if you like…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 [the law], let’s then have a new paradigm in Ghana’”.
According to President Akufo-Addo, a strong movement demanding a change in Ghana’s position might lead to a change in the country’s laws.
Mr. Akufo-Addo stated that he grew up in England, which, in the past, abhorred homosexuality but have over the years succumbed to pressure from LGBT lobbyists to amend their laws to accommodate same-sex relationship.
“I grew up in England; I went to school as a young boy in England and I grew up at a time in England when homosexuality was banned there, it was illegal and I lived in the period when British politicians thought it was anathema to think about changing the law and suddenly the activities of individuals, of groups, a certain awareness, a certain development grew and grew and grew stronger and it forced a change in law. I believe those are the same processes that will bring about changes in our situation.”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
The president, however, pointed out that: “At the moment, I don’t feel and I don’t see that in Ghana, there is that strong current of opinion that will say: ‘This is something that we need even deal with’. It’s not, so far, a matter which is on the agenda.”
His comments come after Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, recently stressed to an Amnesty International delegation that Ghana would not countenance any push by external forces to accept homosexuality.
About 40 nations within the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations are noted to have laws banning homosexuality that are ironically viewed as offsets of British colonial rule.