President Akufo-Addo has said his Aljazeera comments on homosexuality were not aimed at promoting homosexuality in Ghana.
Speaking to the Qatar-based broadcaster in November 2017, Mr. Akufo-Addo said although the call for decriminalization of homosexuality in Ghana was not an urgent concern it was “bound to happen” if there was an overwhelming demand for change.
“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,” he stated in that interview.
His comments were greeted with scathing backlash with many accusing him of conspiring with advocates of the act to get it decriminalized.
But in response to the accusation Wednesday at the Flagstaff House during his media encounter, the president dismissed it as untenable.
“I am not involved in any conspiracies. I am not part of any conspiracy to promote anything…I think these are matters that are in the public domain and people are entitled to their own views. There is no concerted synchronised attempt on my part to promote the advocacy of it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the National Peace Council, Reverend Emmanuel Asante, said it is wrong to hate members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) family.
Rev. Asante stressed although their sexual preference is illegal per Ghana’s constitution, it does not warrant the sort of barbaric treatment metered out to them.
A recent report by Human Rights Watch said the LGBTs are treated as second-class citizens due to what it termed “colonial-era laws that criminalizes same-sex activity.” Human Rights Watch is, therefore, questioning the retention of section 104 of the Criminal Offences Act since that is thwarting efforts to protect the rights of members of the LGBTI community.
Speaking on Morning Starr on Thursday, January 11, 2018, Rev. Asante condemned discrimination and abuse of LGBTs.
“Love homosexuals but hate homosexuality,” the Peace Council chairman told host Francis Abban.
“I believe they can be helped psychologically. We shouldn’t look at them as enemies or beasts. They have rights and are human beings. It’s illegal and we can’t condone it but we can help them,” he added.