Members of Parliament have taken a defiant position against subtle overtures to push homosexuality as a subject for human rights discussions in the country.
The MPs argued that the zeal to engage in an activity does not necessarily make such activity legal or acceptable and noted that critical discourses on the media landscape have suddenly been reduced to homosexuality in all its forms.
Members of the House stressed that continuous calls on Ghana to indicate her position on the subject is a calculated attempt to promote and even pressurize the country to accept such abominable phenomenon, which threatens the very fundamental existence of the human race.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was recently compelled to respond to a question on the subject during an interview on Al Jazeera, which many believe was unsatisfactory to put the matter to bed.
Interest in the matter gained another notch when British Prime Minister, at a Commonwealth Heads of State meeting, offered to assist countries including Ghana to rid its statutes of colonial laws that hinder respect for the practice of LGBT.
In a joint statement that stood in the name of MP for Ho West and President of the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship, Hon. Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah and MP for Krachi West, the Hon. Helen Adzo Ntoso, the MPs insisted that Ghana as a sovereign nation cannot accept what is alien and unacceptable and that her position on homosexuality is common knowledge and explicitly stated in the statues.
Hon. Bedzrah who read the statement on the floor of the House wondered why the question keeps popping up and argued that this is an attempt to undermine the God given abilities of Ghanaians and Africans to decipher what is right or wrong.
He said, “Chapter Six of the 1960 Criminal Code, as amended by the Criminal Code Act, 2003 criminalizes “unnatural carnal knowledge”, which has been interpreted to mean “penile penetration of anything other than a vagina.”
“Section 104 states; “whoever has unnatural canal knowledge of (a) any person of the age of sixteen years or over without his consent shall be guilty of a first degree felony and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than twenty-five years; or (b) of any person of sixteen years or over with his consent is guilty of a misdemeanour or (c) of any animal is guilty of a misdemeanour.”
“Mr. Speaker, also under our Ghanaian laws, there is no legal recognition of same sex couples. CAP 127 (Marriage Ordinance of 1951) and CAP 129 (Marriage of
Mohammedans Ordinance of 1907) all concur that marriage should be between “man and wife” and a “bachelor and a spinster.”
He indicated that per the laws there is no place for Lesbianism, Gayism, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) activities in Ghana and pointed out laws passed by Parliament are reflections of the value systems and aspirations of the people.
Ghanaian customs, he said, frown on gay and lesbian engagements or practices and that traditionally people found to have engaged in such acts are banished from society and stressed that no religion in Ghana, be it Christian, Islamic or Traditional condones the act.
“LGBT offends the culture, morality and heritage of the entire people of Ghana and must not be condoned. It is viewed as an abomination, which is why our laws are what it is now.”
Hon. Bedzrah argued that it is an undeniable fact that everyone in Ghana is entitled to his or her freedom, as guaranteed under that Constitution but the mere fact that one has a passion to do something does not make it right, unless it goes with the norms of the Ghanaian society.”
Homosexual acts, he said, are wrong and intrinsically disordered, contrary to natural law and close the sexual act to the gift of life.
Legalization of homosexuality in the West, he said, has already led to the destruction of the family unit.
MP for Ledzokuku, Hon. Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye who also presented a statement on the subject stated that the history of HIV/AIDS identifies same sex relationship as the origin.
According to him, the first official report on HIV (Human Immune Virus) published by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) on June 5, 1981 detailed the cases of five young gay men who were hospitalized with serious infections.
“By 1982, the condition now called HIV was then called GRID. (Gay related Immune Deficiency) and was not until July 1982 that the term Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was suggested to replace GRID.
He pointed out that recent report by the National Aids Commission indicates high prevalence amongst the same sex community and stated, “This demands a careful look at the issue of homosexuality and its implication for health status of the nation.”
Research, he said, shows that men who sleep with men are 100 times more likely to have anal cancer while gay and bisexual men also have high risk of human pipilloma virus that causes anal cancer.
He mentioned that clinical studies have also concluded that people who engage in anal sex are at greater risk of Hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, incontinence (loss of control of bowel movement leading to pampers use) infections among many others.
Dr. Okoe Boye cautioned that any practice that establishes undesirable health outcomes equally have undesirable economic outcomes for the nation and argued that sexual orientation of the country is the surest compass indicating the march towards progress or a trip towards tragedy.
By Osumanu Al-Hassanfirstname.lastname@example.org