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Ghana: Campaigners Demand Decriminalisation Of Homosexuality

Ghana: Campaigners Demand Decriminalisation Of Homosexuality

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Ghanaian LGBT Advocate
Sulemana Abdulai (right) says he will not stop advocating for LGBT people in Ghana

Ghana's LGBT community are reporting that threats made against them have been growing increasingly problematic ever since President Nana Akufo-Addo stated in an AlJazeer interview that the law that has made homosexuality a crime in Ghana has remained due to the fact that he didn't have faith in a "sufficiently strong coalition".

The leading LGBT activist, Mac-Darling Cobbinah, said to The Independentthat the community would "remain resolute" and persevere in "sensitis[ing] people to understand" issues faced by the LGBT community.

He said, “I think we need to employ a lot more allies who will speak on the issues and not hide behind screens as existing currently.

“Speaking out will help people know and better understand that humans rights of sexual minorities is not based on the type of sex people prefer but it’s instead about humanity and dignity for all persons.

“I support any move to create a rainbow nation for all persons than to throw the few minorities out of their country of birth because of their orientation.”

Another homosexual from Ghana, of whom maintained an anonymous identity for the sake of his statement – told The Independent that the way to survive in Ghana when you perceive yourself as categorising under LGBT is by “staying strong”.

He said, “Daily life for the perceived and known LGBT community in Ghana is characterised with a number of negative experiences which come from all corners,” 

“We continue to face a high level of stigma and discrimination from health facilities, family, communities, with pockets of people facing daily physical, verbal and emotional abuses – including injustice, extortion, blackmail and rejection. 

“There is a fair number who also experience dismissal from work as a result of their sexuality, legal injustice, healthcare inequalities, maltreatment and neglect. 

“Countless people have considered suicide, seeking asylum or total isolation as a possible solution to help them deal with their sexuality. 

“As Ghanaians we need to start rigorous discussion around promotion of human rights [for LGBT people], redefining legal terms and, if possible, repealing laws that criminalise homosexuality. 

“Whether we are lawmakers or ordinary citizens we need to come to terms and accept the undeniable fact that LGBT people are human being who belong to families. They are our sons, our daughters, our teachers and our pastors. They are human just like any other person hence they deserve to be accorded dignity, respect and love.”

An anonymous lesbian who also maintained an anonymous identity, told The Independent that the government should no longer treat LGBT people as “outcasts in our own society”. 

“We want to be free so we can stand tall in public and not deal with obstacles and harassment daily – this will make it easier for us to get an education, learn a trade, get jobs and be useful and productive Ghanaians".

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