The issue of homosexuality has resurfaced in recent times with divergent views on the subject. While the overwhelming majority of Ghanaians abhor the practice and would not hesitate to condemn persons who indulge in it, a few nevertheless believe gays, just as the others must be allowed to practice what they believe in.
Ghana has a mixed record on its treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
Nevertheless, LGBT people are very frequently victims of physical violence and psychological abuse, extortion and discrimination in many different aspects of daily life, because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
GhanaWeb, therefore, sampled the views of some residents in Yilo Krobo in the Eastern Region on the topic and whether the practice should be legalized or not.
Most of them argued that homosexuality violates their religious and cultural beliefs and must hence not be legalized.
Rita Tetteh, a resident of Somanya said though most countries have accepted the practice in their various countries, the act could not be good for Ghana.
“Per my understanding, I don’t think homosexuality is good in this country because most of the countries have accepted it and legalized it but in Ghana, I don’t think it’s good for us to legalize it,” said the 24-year-old sound editor, adding that the government should not back the act with law by legalizing it.
Asked if the attacks and acts of abuse and intimidation being meted out to homosexuals were to be encouraged, Rita said “oh no, they can leave them to do whatever they want to do but I don’t think it’s good for us to legalize it in Ghana because if they don’t legalize it, they won’t get the privilege to get married and a whole sort of things so I think they should not legalize it.”
63-year-old Daniel Franklin Ababio, a lotto agent also shared his views.
Describing the act as an ‘abomination’, he argued that the country risked being denied God’s blessings if it went ahead to legalize homosexuality.
“It’s an abomination which even the bible stands against because Ghana is a blessed country alongside Israel so we cannot follow this homosexuality thing,” he argued.
To him, establishing an office in the country was improper and called for the destruction of the place.
He said “even we heard that they have come to build offices in Ghana, that office must be burnt, we don’t want anything like that. For me I believe so much that the Cathedral that the president say we should build I believe so much that because of homosexuality that is why they say we must build that cathedral, because if man and man want to marry and they want somebody to bless then it would be the cathedral,” he said.
Asked if the act of homosexuality should be legalized in the country, the lotto agent impressed on the president not to back it with law.
“No, no, the whole Ghana, we beg president to not allow,” said Mr. Ababio.
41-year-old Georgina Ayikai Aryeetey, a teacher and resident of Somanya also condemned the practice.
“I’m against it and the bible too is against it,” said the teacher, citing the biblical story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah for homosexuality to back her position.
Though Madam Georgina Aryeetey condemned attacks on people who practice homosexuality, she nevertheless posited that legalizing homosexuality should not happen.
“Not at all because the moment you legalize it, it means we’re going to be like Sodom and Gomorrah and God’s anger will come upon us and we can’t hide so the government should not try it at all,” she counselled.
Mr. Prosper Sakitey also condemned the practice arguing that the country’s culture does not support the act.
“LGBT is not good in our culture here, it is not an acceptable practice, religiously and our tradition doesn’t accept it in any way,” said the 56-year-old businessman.
Similarly, he joined the others to condemn attacks on homosexuals, arguing that they rather need help.
“Attacking them will not solve the problem because they are sick in the sense that their line of thinking makes them think that it is by doing that that gives them their human rights,” he said.
58-year-old Fred Mantey also believes Ghana’s customs and traditions does not in any way approve of homosexuality and must hence not be tolerated by decent people.
“One thing is that our customs in Ghana do not permit homosexuality. Krobos do not practice that it, it’s against our laws and practice, no Krobo man will allow this in his community so when you do that it becomes an abomination, it’s bad, it’s not the best.”
To him, attacking homosexuals will attack the image of the country but urged President Akufo-Addo to “kick against it just as former president John Mills also did.”
“[Legalize it] in what manner? Are we not a Christian country? Our Christian norms don’t allow that,” he posited strongly.