On the 31st of January, 2021 LGBT+ rights Ghana, a movement at the forefront of championing the rights of al LGBTQIA persons in Ghana, hosted a fundraiser to officially introduce and promote its community space and to open its doors to members of the LGBT+ community and its allies. The event was graced by Community members and Allies such as representatives from various Human rights Organizations such as ISDAO, Humanists International and members of the Diplomatic Corps such as the High Commissioner of Australia to Ghana, the Danish Ambassador and the Ambassador of the EU to Ghana. There was also a musical performance by Wanlov the Kubolor and Emerging Artiste, Beryl.
On the 11th of February 2021,Executive Secretary of the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, Moses Foh-Amoaning called on the government to shut down the newly outdoored LGBT office in Accra. He has been on several platforms on radio calling for the arrest and prosecution of all those involved claiming that it is against the law to have an LGBT group established here in Ghana and that it is unconstitutional. He has also called for gay conversion therapy to be introduced into the country.
All these assertions are ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE and should be treated with the disdain that it deserves.
First of all, LGBTQ RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS and it is very much entrenched in our Ghanaian Constitution. The following Articles of our Constitution clearly show this.
- Article 12: “Every person in Ghana, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, 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.”
- Article 17 Right to equality before the law.
- Article 17 states that “...a person shall not be discriminated against on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status.”
Ghana has also signed a number of treaties on Human rights with various International Bodies such as the United Nations which has passed several resolutions specifically on the rights of LGBT+ persons in the world as seen below:
United Nations Resolutions - Sexual orientation and gender identity
Human Rights Council
Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (adopted 30 June 2016) - A/HRC/RES/32/2 E F S R C A
Human Rights Council resolution - Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity (adopted 17 June 2011) - A/HRC/RES/17/19 E F S R C A
Human Rights Council resolution - Human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity (adopted 26 September 2014) - A/HRC/RES/27/32 E F S R C A
This clearly shows that Moses Foh-Amoaning’s assertions that LGBTQ rights are not recognized as Human rights are false.
Also, Our Ghanaian law does not state that mere attraction of the same sex is criminal.
Our Law states as follows:
Section 104 of the Criminal Code of Ghana states:
“Unnatural Carnal Knowledge.
(1) Whoever has unnatural carnal knowledge—
(a) of 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.
(2) Unnatural carnal knowledge is sexual intercourse with a person in an unnatural manner or with an animal.”
“Misdemeanour” is defined in Section 296 of the Criminal Procedure Code as a sentence of imprisonment for not more than 3 years.
Evidence of “Unnatural Carnal Knowledge” is defined in Section 99 of the Criminal Code as:
“Whenever, upon the trial of any person for an offence punishable under this Code, it is necessary to prove carnal knowledge or unnatural carnal knowledge, the carnal knowledge or unnatural carnal knowledge shall be deemed complete upon proof of the least degree of penetration.”
This is often interpreted as being the particular piece of legislation that criminalizes homosexual behaviour. As it requires some degree of penetration, it would follow that women who have sex with women are excluded from this list.
This however is interpreted by this Lawyer with very little understanding of this law to mean that it is illegal to be LGBT which again is untrue. He also fails to show that the law also applies to heterosexual couples who engage in anal sex and fellatio aka blowjob which most heterosexuals in Ghana are said to engage in but have never been prosecuted for between consenting adults.
Another utterly false idea he keeps promoting is that being LGBT is treatable through prayer and conversion therapy.
Infact, this is a very dangerous agenda and should be taken seriously, investigated and banned from this dear country of ours. Beyond studies focused solely on reparative therapy, broader research clearly demonstrates the significant harm that societal prejudice and family rejection has on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, particularly youth. Furthermore, there is significant anecdotal evidence of harm to LGBTQ people resulting from attempts to change their sexual orientation and gender identity. Based on this body of evidence, every major medical and mental health organization in the United States has issued a statement condemning the use of conversion therapy.
Psychiatrist Dr. L. Spitzer, who once offered a flawed study on reparative therapy, has since denounced the study and has apologized for endorsing the practice.
Several Lawmakers in the USA have condemned this abhorrent practice including Jerry Brown, Governor of California who said:
"These practices have no basis in science or medicine and they will now be relegated to the dustbin of quackery."
I do not know of any Ghanaian Scientist who would bet on their Doctorate degree that they have any proper scientific proof and data to support gay conversion therapy.
Moses has no basis to use faith healing and pseudoscientific means with no data to support these so-called therapies and yet wants to impose on the government to introduce it to the public as an alternative solution to the LGBTQ ‘problem’.
Moses needs to be aware that Ghana is not just a Christian or Islamic Country so he has no right to impose his beliefs on others as we enjoy the rights of the Freedom of Association as per our Constitution and having the support of certain figures in religious groups is just an appeal to authority which is highly fallacious and does not justify Homophobia.
He has made claims in the past that it is UnAfrican to to be LGBT+ or support their rights however, he clings to the archaic British colonial laws to promote his homophobic agenda and uses imported religious beliefs to condemn members of the LGBT+ community.
Time and time again, he has come up with various strategies to incite hate and indirectly giving individuals and vigilante groups the confidence to justify violence and discrimination against LGBT+ Ghanaians.
His coalition was the organizer that was responsible for hosting a well known extremist Christian far-right hate group from the USA known as the World Congress of Families in 2019 for a conference without any opposition from the public as it was their constitutional right as well.
He also fought against sex education for the youth in our schools and claimed the CSE curriculum as a ‘Gay Agenda’.
Meanwhile, He was the same person to oppose the Pan Africa ILGA Conference that was then slated for June 2020 in Accra but had to be cancelled due to the rise of the pandemic at the time.
We would not sit back this time and watch you continue on this path of hate-speeches. We would not be ok with your plan to import this harmful gay conversion therapy on our youth and fellow Ghanaians. No Moses! No more of allowing you to continue to spew this false narrative to misinform the good citizens of this country.
You and your homophobic agenda would not be allowed to prosper and sow seeds of discord amongst our people.
To all LGBT+ Ghanaians, please know that we now have an Office that would always serve as a safe space to be yourself, meet people like you, celebrate Pride, share your story and get the support you need to make your life as a Queer Ghanaian healthy and wholesome, etc.
To all Allies, please feel free to support and assist LGBT+Rights Ghana in any small way by donating to the LGBT+ Community Fund and following LGBT+ Rights Ghana Group on all social media platforms.
It is my hope that His Excellency Our President, His Excellency Our Vice-President, Honorable Members of Parliament and Fellow Ghanaians would continue to make Ghana a Country of peaceful and hospitable people, would continue to protect the rights and freedoms of every single Ghanaian citizen regardless of their sexual orientation and identity and do away with Homophobia in Ghana someday once and for all.
Long live Ghana! Long live the LGBT+ Community in Ghana! Long Live LGBT+ Rights Ghana Group!
Board Member, Humanists International