Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development, CDD-Ghana, Prof H.K. Prempeh has mounted a strong defense of the right of the LGBTQI+ community to advocate to not be persecuted or harassed for who they are, stressing that the rights of advocates cannot be curtailed merely because they identify as LGBTQI+.
Prof Prempeh argued that is cannot be unconstitutional for people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and other sexual orientation ( LGBTQI+) to come together to fight to be allowed to coexist with straight people in the community.
His comments come at a time there is renewed advocacy for the rights of the LGBTQI+ community in the midst of a crackdown by government and religious organization as well as other bodies. The discussions on the LGBTQI+ community have been sparked by news of the opening of an LGBTQI+ office in the country.
While many on social media have kicked against the acceptance or legalisation of homosexuality in the country, calling on Government to tighten legislation on the matter, persons like Prof Prempeh have written favourably for the community.
“Once upon a time in human history and society, consensual sexual relations, including procreation, between persons of different “races” was proscribed as “miscegenation”, because it was deemed offensive to the “natural order of things”. The legal proscription of miscegenation found support and justification at the time in some Christian doctrine, as it does today on the fringes of that religion. (Chattel slavery, too, enjoyed support and protection from both law and religious doctrine at various times in history)…
Is an “LGBT Office” or Association per se illegal–they say it’s even a threat to “National Security”–merely because an existing law (with origins in colonial era legislation), which finds support among certain faith communities, proscribes so-called “unnatural carnal knowledge”?
Assuming, for the sake of argument, that such a law is deemed not unconstitutional by a contemporary court (btw, apex courts in a number of common law jurisdictions like India and Belize have recently invalidated similarly worded statutes), how exactly does one go from saying that such a law is not unconstitutional to then saying that, persons not otherwise engaged in the proscribed conduct may still not band together as an association even to advocate the repeal of such a law or to protest abusive use of such law to target and harass persons on the assumption that they may be predisposed to engage in such conduct (whatever that means)?” He questioned.
Meanwhile, the government has moved in to close the office that had been opened weeks ago in Accra. Many have called on the President to come with a definite pronouncement on his position on the matter.
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