Homosexuality Is Not Illegal – Ghanaian’s Attorney-General

By benim
In Ghana
Sep 1st, 2011

Ghana’s chief lawyer has declared categorically that homosexuality, if practiced privately between two consenting adults, is not illegal.

It is only criminal if the act involved an underage participant, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Martin A.B.K Amidu has stated.

The Attorney-General, who was speaking at a press conference, said his comments were meant to clarify the meaning of the law following a recently attended AIDS summit where Ghana’s position on homosexuality was very topical.

And, while the ministry had no policy on the matter, the law governing such a practice was inherited from the Gold Coast era and had not been amended since, therefore, homosexuality practiced between two consenting adults, did not offend the law.

Mr Amidu opined that although same-sex relationships were generally considered wrong culturally, an individual was allowed his sexual discretion as long as it was within the confines of his home.

“The law does not follow you to see what you do, your house is your castle; your room is your castle, what you do there is no body’s business. It is only when you rape an adult by way of unnatural carnal knowledge that you become a subject of prosecution” he said.

He acknowledged that the newsworthy subject of homosexuality was a delicate one which had caused very heated debate across the country.

Mr. Amidu said in other parts of the world such as the United Kingdom, laws against homosexuality had been repealed because a new wave of cultural change had dictated so. However, in Ghana, the criminal law against same-sex relationships will not be revoked since the majority of Ghanaians did not approve of it.

Reacting to the minister’s comments on Citi Eyewitness News of August 30, 2011, Moses Foh-Amoaning, an anti-gay advocate and lecturer at the Ghana Law School, said the Attorney-General’s submission was useful because he had highlighted the fact that the act was criminal.

“Clearly he has emphasized that it is a criminal offence. He tried to play a fast one on whether it was in the bedroom or in public.

“For me, it makes no difference; what is important is that he has indicated that as far as the government is concerned, it is a criminal offence and it is going to remain so until the next generation comes along”.

As to whether the law against homosexuality may change in the future, Mr. Foh-Amoaning, confident, said “One thing, I can assure my good friend Martin is that as long as some of us live; as long as there is a generation of Ghanaians that see this act as abominable, the law will continue to proscribe homosexuality.”citifmonline

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