Mr Speaker, we thank you for this opportunity to make a Statement on recent discourse among Ghanaians on the practice of homosexuality in the country.
Mr Speaker, recently, our President, H.E., Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo granted an interview to Al Jazeera, a Gulf News Channel, on a wide range of issues while on one of his official trips abroad.
In that interview, one of the questions with a followed up response by His Excellency that struck and elicited mixed reactions from many Ghanaians was the one that borders on the acceptance of the practice of Lesbianism, Gayism, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) as human rights in Ghana.
Just as the debates on the issue were about to subside, there were news reports that the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Mrs Theresa May, has, in her speech to the Commonwealth Heads of States, offered to assist countries including Ghana to rid its statutes of colonial laws that hinders respect for the practice of LGBT.
Since then, critical discourses on our media landscape that had hitherto bordered on “bread and butter” have been reduced to LGBT, an abominable phenomenon that threatens the fundamental existence of the human race.
Our religious organisations are not left out. The Presidency has also issued statements to that effect, and indeed, Mr
Speaker, your good self has been reported several times on the matter.
Mr Speaker, we must admit that this is not the first time the issue of LGBT was raised and our Presidents, both past and present, have been called upon to state the position of the State.
But recent trajectories and continuous call on us as a State to indicate our position on the matter appears to us as a calculated attempt to promote, and perhaps, pressurise the Government of Ghana to accept what otherwise is alien and unacceptable to us as Ghanaians, and a sovereign nation determined to build a prosperous society.
Mr Speaker, the position of Ghana on LGBT is common knowledge and is explicitly stated in our Statutes and one wonders why the question keeps popping up. We find such questions as an attempt to undermine our God-given ability to decipher what is right or what is wrong with us as Ghanaians, and to a large extent, as Africans.
Mr Speaker, Chapter Six of the 1960 Criminal Code, as amended by the Criminal Code Act, 2003 criminalises “unnatural carnal knowledge”, which has been interpreted to mean “penile penetration of anything other than a vagina.” Section 104 states and I beg to quote;
“whoever has unnatural carnal knowledge of (a) any person of the age of sixteen years or over without his consent shall be guilty of a first degree felony and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and not more than twenty-five years; or (b) of any person of sixteen years or over with his consent is guilty of a misdemeanour; or (c) of any animal is guilty of a misdemeanour.”
Mr Speaker, also, under our Ghanaian laws, there is no legal recognition of same sex couples. Marriage Ordinance of 1951 (CAP 127) and Marriage of Moham- medans Ordinance of 1907 (CAP 129) all concur that marriage should be between “man and wife” and a “bachelor and a spinster”. Juxtaposing these laws we have alluded to, it is obvious and crystal clear that there is no place for LGBT in our beloved country Ghana.
Laws as passed by Parliament, the representative body of the people, are reflections of the value systems and aspirations of the people, and not otherwise. Abominable practices such as LGBT are not part of our cultural norms and value systems as Ghanaians and Africans.
Ghanaian customs frown on gay and lesbian engagements or practices. Traditionally, people found to have engaged in such are banished from society. No religion in Ghana, be it Christian, Islamic or Traditional condones the act.
LGBT offends the culture, morality and heritage of the entire people of Ghana and must not be condoned. It is viewed as an abomination, which is why our laws are what they are now.
Mr Speaker, it is an undeniable fact that everyone in Ghana is entitled to his or her freedom, as guaranteed under our Constitution. But the mere fact that one has the zeal to do something does not make it right, unless it goes with the norms of the Ghanaian society.
The right of citizens are not absolute. They are not! Chapter 12 (2) of the Constitution places a limitation on the exercise of rights viz. “ but subject to respect for the rights and freedom of others and for the public interest”.
My Speaker, our value systems are not borne out for the sake of it but to guide and prevent the human race from falling prey to destructive ills of society. Homosexual acts are wrong and intrinsically disordered.
They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. In the West, the legalisation of homosexuality has already led to the destruction of the family unit.
Mr Speaker, homosexual practice presents public health risks to our societies. There are well-documented, scientific and medical consequences of the practice. Sexually transmitted diseases are more common. Many homosexuals have multiple partners and that has increased death among them through HIV/
According to a report by the U.S Center for Disease Control (CDC), MSM (men who have sex with men) are 40 times more likely to become infected with HIV/ AIDS.
In Ghana, statistics from Ghana AIDS Commission showed that HIV/AIDs prevalent rate was seven per cent among female sex workers than that of men who have sex with men. Homosexuals stood at 17.5 per cent as at 2015.
Mr Speaker, LGBT practice is destructive, and Ghanaians, particularly we their representatives, must never keep quiet. Our human and constitutional obligations as Members of Parliament (MPs) enjoin us to uphold and ensure that our laws positively transform and not deform our society.
We appeal to H.E. the President of the Republic of Ghana not to allow any form of pressure, from either within or outside to introduce and or sponsor a Bill to Parliament for the legalisation of any indecent practice that is alien to our value system as Ghanaians.