LGBTQ practice in Ghana is culturally unacceptable” – Ghana’s Gender Minister-Designate

The campaign against attempts by the United States and the European Union to force the practice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA) down the throats of Ghanaians has intensified as another minister-designate has come out with a clear position on the matter.

The past week, a foreign minister-designate, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey spoke extensively on how LGBTQIA practice is an affront to the laws and cultural values of Ghana. Another Minister-designate, Sarah Adwoa Safo, this time, from the Gender Ministry has also added her voice to the campaign.

Responding to questions from the Appointments Committee of Ghana’s parliament on 17 February 2021, the Minister-designate for Gender, Children and Social Protection said LGBTQI is a criminal practice by Ghanaian laws, non-negotiable and culturally unacceptable.

“Mr Chair, the issue of LGBT is an issue that when mentioned, it creates some controversy but what I want to say is that our laws are clear on such practice. It makes it criminal. Section 104 of the Criminal Code prohibits one from having unnatural carnal knowledge with another person. So, on the issue of its criminality, it is non-negotiable”. She said. Mrs. Sarah added that, “On the issue of our cultural acceptance and norms, these practices are also frowned upon. So, for me, these are two distinct clarities on the matter and that is what I strongly stand for.”

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EYEGAMBIA earlier reported the position of Ghana’s Minister-designate for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey as she responded to US President Joe Biden on threats by his administration to issue financial, visa and other sanctions to countries that violate rights of people engaged in LGBTQI practices.

President Biden warned that, “when foreign governments move to restrict the rights of LGBTQI+ persons or fail to enforce legal protections in place, thereby contributing to a climate of intolerance, agencies engaged abroad shall consider appropriate responses, including using the full range of diplomatic and assistance tools and, as appropriate, financial sanctions, visa restrictions, and other actions.”

However, Mrs. Botchwey said that, “Ghana is a sovereign country but as part of our foreign policy we engage countries all over the world; America is one of our strongest friends. But in this country we have laws and our laws work, and must work… So in spite of what somebody will say and in this case President Biden, the laws of Ghana criminalises unlawful carnal knowledge and therefore the laws of Ghana definitely are supreme and that is what we all adhere to.” She added that, “of course, culturally also, we have our cultural laws that we all adhere to and so as much as he would say that, we also as a sovereign country must speak to the laws of the land

The European Union is currently promoting LGBTQIA practice in the West African country. The EU has announced its support for the community as dignitaries such as the Australian high commissioner Gregory Andrews and Danish Ambassador Tom Nørring attended the opening of an LGBTQI office in Accra Ghana. The Ghanaian chapter of the EU said a post on Facebook that: “A couple of weeks ago, the EU in Ghana, participated in the opening of the new community space of the @LGBTRightsGhana. Equality, tolerance and respect for each other are core values of the EU. The EU supports civil society organisations promoting #LGBTIQ rights, #EU4LGBT”.

The Executive Secretary of the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, Moses Foh-Amoaning has called on the government of Ghana to shut down an office suspected to be created for homos3xuals. “The presidency, the ministry of foreign Affairs and the IGP have every right to investigate that office to close it down immediately and arrest and prosecute those people involved in it,” he said. Apart from him, there are calls from a considerable number of people including religious and other prominent leaders for the office to be closed with immediate effect. Like the Ministers, the critics are basing their call on cultural issues.

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