Generally in the African traditions and practices, there were strong morals and there were no known cases of gayism or lesbianism. However over the years things changed and people became open to new ways of doing things, some positive and others negative. People started challenging certain things and some just resorted to not heeding to any of it completely. Practices such as lesbianism, gayism, bisexuality and a feeling of discomfort with one’s sexual identity which is most commonly referred to as trans-gender came to be in the process of discovery. In Ghana, 87% of the people are strongly against the LGBT meetings so as to address their issues, thus leaving only a few in support of it.
Gay marriage in Ghana
A good number of Ghanaians are opposed to lesbian and gay meetings. In fact, there are 91% of Muslims that are against their public meetings. Atheists are the only group of people not to strongly oppose these groups of people with an unbelievable 33% opposing their meeting. On the other hand, Christians and traditionalists offer a strong opposition to their meetings with 87% and 73% respectively. As a result of this hostility towards people of this sect, the United Nations had to chip in some time back and try to protect their rights by pushing the Ghanaian government to protect these individuals from violence.
Gay marriage laws
Same sex sexual activities in Ghana are illegal and if found, one is served with a penalty of up to three years in prison. Also, according to the law, gay marriage in Ghana is forbidden but the penalty to this is not yet clear. The constitution does not recognize same sex couples. MSM’s (Men who have sex with Men) are not allowed to donate blood according to the law as well. There is no legal clause that allows for commercial surrogacy for gay male couples. Lawfully, it is also forbidden for individuals to have a right to change their legal gender. The law is also against joint adoption by couples of the same sex. The adoption of a step child by same sex couples is strongly prohibited by the Ghanaian law as well.
Conditions to the law
On grounds of discrimination, the Ghanaian law strongly prohibits any form of discrimination. To be precise, Section 12 (2) 0f Chapter 5 of the Ghanaian Constitution states that “Every person in Ghana, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinion, color, religion, creed or gender shall be entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual contained in this chapter but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest.” The Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) assists individuals who have gone through any sort of discrimination due to their HIV status, sexual orientation or gender identity. The protocol is simple; the individual needs to report any of the mentioned cases to their discrimination and stigma reporting portal so that action can be taken. In the year 2013, the USA offered to aid in the development of a legislation that would protect the LGBT’s rights in Ghana.
United Nations recommendations about gay marriage
There were also a number of recommendations by the United Nations in a bid to see Ghana turn a new leaf on the LGBT individuals and support Ghana gay rights. This law that is under section 99 of the constitution states that “Unnatural carnal knowledge shall be deemed complete upon proof of the least degree of penetration.” Section 296 of the Criminal Procedure Code which applies because of section 1 of the Criminal Code, a misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment for not more than three years.
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However, more often than not, the law may not be enforced but there are reports that suggest that there are a number of cases involving persecution in a rather increased manner in different areas. Despite these clauses in the constitution being laid forth loud and clear, there have been individuals who have logically challenged it through legal means. A good example comes with the application to women on matters of homosexual activities. Ghana LGBT laws are quite clear.
Challenge of this law
In the year 2017, a well known lawyer by the name John Ndebugri challenged views on the legitimacy of the illegality of lesbianism under Ghanaian law. He was on the side of the gay in Ghana.He was arguing that lesbianism as a form of homosexuality does not involve any form of penetration with a penis and thus cannot be termed as sexual intercourse or as unnatural.
The church in Ghana has also been in the front-line against matters homosexuality and is not ready to change its stand about this activity. There are claims by the church that some communities are under looking the issue of Ghana homosexuality and slowly accepting it. As a result, those who are not for the idea are being referred to as homophobic. The church also claims that inasmuch as there are some traits that are handed over to the offspring genetically, it does not mean that they should be legalized. The church has also made a follow up on whether homosexual practices are attributed to genetic factors and found out that genetic factors are not enough explanation for the sexual orientation.
The church actually argues that the gay Ghanaian and lesbians are not born that way, instead, they are bestowed with freewill. The church sees the act of “coming to us naturally” as illogical and a degrading gesture to a human being’s dignity. There are verses from the bible, according to the church that reveal that both the old and new testament in the bible does not approve of homosexuality. This was in a bid to shrug off the claims from the gay community that it is only forbidden in the Old Testament. The church gives a good example in Romans 1 which shows the legitimacy of their argument in a bid to counter the information given by the community being rivaled. These examples strongly show that the church is against the acts of homosexuality and anything that does not uphold good Christian morals.
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