Same-Sex Relationships Now a Jailable Offence in Ghana?

 For the longest time, countries in Africa have upheld the ‘moral’ standards of sexuality, where heterosexuality has been the norm. Today, some people in the same communities take offense when the terms ‘heterosexual’ and ‘homosexual’ are used regarding sexual orientation.

In Ghana, same-sex relationships are already illegal. A new anti-LGBT legislation law has been passed by the parliament and is seen as a major setback to human rights by the country’s activists. It imposes a 5 to 10-year minimum jail term punishment for LGBT people. The US and the international community have termed this as ‘profoundly disturbing’. Maxin Angel, a musician and LGBTQ activist in Ghana says that she feels devastated for being criminalized over something she has no control over. As a trans woman, she calls upon the government to stop pretending that transgenders and the queer people do not live among them.

The signing of the bill by the president may result in violence towards the LGBTQ community in Ghana, as even the supporters of the movement are already being persecuted. Currently, the LGBTQ+ community in Ghana is being beaten up, arrested, and in the worst-case scenario, murdered. According to Maxin, the passing of the law will show that it is legal and okay to violate the LGBTQ community.

Influential members of the Ghanaian community such as Samia Nkurumah are asking President Nana Addoh to reject the draconian bill and veto an anti-LGBT+ bill instead. Other parties who will be liable to this law include any organization promoting the homosexuality agenda, the person who fails to report anyone suspected of being in same-sex relationships, and people promoting same-sex conduct in Ghana through their social media handles.

Sam George is a Member of Parliament in Ghana who has been spearheading the fight against LGBTQ in Ghana. He strongly believes that the ‘alphabet community ‘ has no place in Ghana. In a press conference addressing the passing of the bill by the parliament, he said that men who choose to become intimate with fellow men should have their backsides stitched using the 200 million dollar budgetary fund allocated to purchase beds for expectant Ghanaian women. To the American government, he stated that Ghana is not their 51st state, thus they should not impose their will there. They can opt to do business in the country or pack and leave.

Sam shows the adverse effects of the LGBTQ movement in society by quoting “CDCs data showing that homosexuals are 400% more likely to be suicidal than other people.” It is majorly caused by mental disorder impulses concerning identity. He features a recent incident in the US where a young man pulled up to a school and shot 22 children. He was a transgender who had undergone gender reconstructive surgery at the tender age of 8. In Africa, Sam says that SA leads in criminal rates as they have legalized and embraced homosexuality. Thus, channels like DSTV and other media companies should censor the content they put out on Ghanaian mainstream media since the punishment for LGBT advocacy is higher than the act itself.

Many members of the LGBT community are opting to relocate from the country as they fear being snitched on or killed. Willian Nyarko, a member of the Africa Center for International Law and Accountability says that the bill is foreseen to affect the tourism revenue in Ghana, as it did in Uganda after President Museveni passed the bill. Time, however, will tell.

What Queer Together Says About This

Queer Together stands for the rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals and the acceptance of same-sex relationships in society. We strongly condemn the passing of this bill in Ghana and stand in solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters who are facing persecution and discrimination.

We believe that everyone has the right to love whoever they choose, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Criminalizing same-sex relationships only perpetuates violence and hate towards the LGBTQIA+ community, and it goes against the principles of equality and human rights. 

We call upon individuals in Ghana and around the world to stand up against this injustice and show their support for the LGBTQIA+ community in Ghana. Together, we can make a difference and fight for the right of every person to love without fear or discrimination. Let us spread love and acceptance, not hate and persecution. The fight for equal rights and acceptance continues, and we will stand strong with our LGBTQIA+ family in Ghana and around the world. Let us continue to raise awareness and advocate for a more inclusive and accepting society for all. Love is love, and it knows no boundaries or limitations.

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