Akufo-Addo Talks Against Same-Sex Marriage But Silent On Promoters

President, Nana Akufo-Addo President, Nana Akufo-Addo

The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, has stressed that it would not be under his presidency that marriage between persons of the same sex, will be legalized in the country. He was, however, silent on those seeking to promote it in the country, including members of the diplomatic corps.

"For same-sex marriage to be legalized in Ghana, it will not happen in my time as President", Akufo-Addo stated emphatically.

The President's pronouncement comes in the wake of pressure on his government to come clear and state its position on activities of persons who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer. (LGBTQ+) which saw the opening of an office at Ashongman Estate in Accra.

LGBTQI+ Rights Ghana, opened an administrative office in Tesano, a suburb of Accra, Ghana, the GhPage reports.

According to the group, there is a need for respect for human rights, hence setting up an office for support purposes is a step in the right direction.

The group organised a fundraiser which was attended by several diplomats, including the Australian High Commissioner, Gregory Andrews, who pledged to support the group.

Many, including the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Prampram, Sam Nartey George and the New Patriotic Party's (NPPs) Nana Akomea, have spoken against the legalization and also demanded that the diplomats be invited and warned against the promotion of such practice in Ghana, since it is illegal to do so. The two said this on Metro TV, last Friday on the Good Morning Ghana Show.

President Akufo-Addo, made the remark at the St. Micheal and All Angels Cathedral in Asante Mampong during the installation of the Second Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Ghana.

"I have said it before, and let me stress it again, that it will not be under the Presidency of Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo that same-sex marriage will be legal", he stressed, adding "it will never happen in my time as President. Let me repeat, it will never happen in my time as president".

The recent opening and subsequent closure of an LGBTQI office in Ashongman in Accra generated public conversations on the issue.

While, some say the practice when allowed will serve interests that are abhorrent to the culture and values of the Ghanaian people, others have insisted that, the rights of LGBTQIs, must be protected like anyone else.

Many religious bodies, Parliamentarians, Ministers-Designates, human right advocates, supporters of the movement and other relevant stakeholders, in particular, have all waded into the debate for the legalization or criminalization of homosexuality in Ghana.

This is not the first time, President Akufo-Addo, is publicly declaring his stance on the controversial subject.

In 2018, the President gave the first of his indication that he will never amend the laws of the country to allow for same-sex marriage.

For him, such consideration was never on his government agenda.

He made the declaration at a similar church ceremony during the synod of the Global Evangelical Church in Accra.

It followed an interview the President granted with international news network, Al-Jazeera on Ghana's position on homosexuality.

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), James Oppong Boanuh, has said LGBTQI activities remain illegitimate in Ghana.

As a result, the Police as law enforcers, would continue to apply Ghana's laws on such issues.

Mr Boanuh, maintains that until the Constitution acknowledges LGBTQI, his outfit would not condone the activities of LGBTQI persons in the country.

The police chief gave the caution saying:

"Currently, there are some laws on LGBT in Ghana. We in the police will enforce the law as far as the limits of the laws are concerned. Therefore, as long as those laws remain in our statute books, we are going to enforce them. If the people of Ghana by way decide that they are going to legitimize it and is taken off from our books, we are okay with it. But until that is done, we will ensure that the laws are complied with", he said.

The IGP, has thus advised that while at it, people must not to take the laws of the country for granted as the police would not spare anyone who flouts the law saying "let us not take the laws into our own hands".

"The whole point I am making is that we should not take the laws into our hands. Whatever may happen, we should leave the security agencies to use the applicable laws to deal with the situation," he added.

Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), James Oppong Boanuh, has said Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) activities remain illegitimate in Ghana.

As a result, the Police as law enforcers would continue to apply Ghana's laws on such issues.

Mr Boanuh, maintains that until the constitution acknowledges LGBTQI, his outfit would not condone the activities of LGBTQI persons in the country.

The police chief gave the caution at the commissioning of a 100-seater capacity conference hall for the Police in Cape Coast in the Central Region.

"Currently, there are some laws on LGBT in Ghana. We in the police will enforce the law as far as the limits of the laws are concerned. Therefore, as long as those laws remain in our statute books, we are going to enforce them. If the people of Ghana by way decide that they are going to legitimize it and is taken off from our books, we are okay with it. But until that is done, we will ensure that the laws are complied with", he said.

The recent opening and subsequent closure of an LGBTQI office in Ashongman in Accra generated public conversations.

While some say the practice when allowed will serve interests that are abhorrent to the culture and values of the Ghanaian people, others have insisted that the rights of LGBTQIs must be protected like anyone else..

But the IGP has advised that while at it, people must not to take the laws of the country for granted, as the police would not spare anyone who flouts the law, saying "let us not take the laws into our own hands".

"The whole point I am making is that we should not take the laws into our hands. Whatever may happen, we should leave the security agencies to use the applicable laws to deal with the situation," he added.

Source: www.theheraldghana.com