Homosexuality is against our custom- President Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo has said that homosexuality is against Ghanaian custom and tradition.

Speaking in an interview with Al-Jazeera on his recent visit to the Qatar, President Akufo-Addo said that the issue of homosexuality is a “socio-cultural issue.” To that extent, the President said that there was no sufficient reason to warrant a legalization of homosexuality.

In most parts of the western world, gay and lesbian rights are enforced and same-sex marriages are legal.

In Africa however, homosexuality is still a vexed issue and the customs and traditions of most African societies abhor homosexuality.

In recent times, some Western governments have sought to tie aid to the condition that African governments legalise homosexuality. This has continued to face stiff resistance from African governments and people.

In response to a question as to why homosexuality is still outlawed in Ghana, President Akufo-Addo said that it was not part of our socio-cultural framework and, therefore, it was not a matter that is even to be considered.

“There is no strong current of opinion that is saying that this is even something that we should deal with” he said. “It is not so far a matter which is on the agenda” he added.

There are sections of the population who however feel that the President’s answer was not a definitive rejection of the idea of legalising homosexuality. But the Minister for Information, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, who doubles as the President’s Spokesperson, explained that, law is a product of culture and, therefore, laws cannot be enacted outside the cultural framework.

This, according to the Minister for Information, was what the President meant by homosexuality was “a socio-cultural issue.

”Explaining further, Mr Abdul-Hamid said, that it was the reason why law is called “mmra” in Twi. “Oman is nation and mmra is law. But a combination of the two, which gives you “amanmere” or “omannmra” also means custom.

So in answering a question on homosexuality, the President had to necessarily make reference to custom. And to the extent that our customs do not allow homosexuality, no President can legislate against the customs of the people” Mustapha Abdul-Hamid said.

Responding further to the criticism that the President said that he envisages a future where homosexuality may be lawful, Mr Abdul-Hamid explained that customs evolve and, therefore, the President could not have said categorically that there would never be a period in the future when homosexuality may become an issue.

The Minister for Information said that there was a period in history when alcohol was a banned substance in most of the western world. But today alcohol is consumed freely and liberally. “It is, therefore, only reasonable to say that there could come a time when homosexuality would not be such an anathema” he said. “Even customs evolve and, therefore, we cannot be sure if the evolution of custom will not make homosexuality an issue in the future” he added.

Homosexuality remains a taboo subject in most African countries and homosexuals cannot openly declare their sexual orientation.



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