Feature Article of Sunday, 3 February 2013
Columnist: Sarpong, Justice
I am not a lawyer or in the judiciary profession but even as a layman reading the section of our constitution that talks about unatural carnal knowledge, I can say that, there is no law in Ghana that criminalize homosexuality and if President Mahama and his Information Minister insist there is a law banning homosexuality in Ghana, then they have goofed badly. There is no legislation in Ghana explicitly prohibiting homosexuality. I am really shocked President Mahama will come out and say homosexuality is criminal. On Friday February 01, the Information Minister, Mahama Ayariga issued this statement on behalf of President Mahama;
"Information Minister Mahama Ayariga has explained President John Mahama's position on homosexuality, indicating that the act is criminal and punishable under the laws of Ghana. The President is to execute the laws of Ghana. And the laws of Ghana are very clear on homosexuality. The laws of Ghana appall and criminalize homosexuality, there is no dispute about that. Homosexual conduct which is unnatural carnal knowledge of one person or another is criminal and punishable by the laws of Ghana,” he told the media today."
Below is how the constitution defines what constitutes UNATURAL CARNAL KNOWLEDGE
Section 104 of the Ghanaian Criminal Code, last amended in 2003, states the following:
(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 (12 Jan. 1961). The word unatural carnal knowledge does not mean homosexuality because homosexuality does not mean anal sex. This President better get good advice on this issue before they disgrace his office issuing comments to an issue they have not made a good research on.
The criminal Code does not expressly prohibit sexual relations between same-sex individuals.
President Mahama and Ayariga are wrong. There is no law in Ghana that makes homosexuality a crime. What is the meaning of unatural carnal knowledge?
A)Is sucking dick natural carnal knowledge? NO, THAT IS UNATURAL CARNAL KNOWLEDGE
B)Is pussy sucking or cunnilingus natural carnal knowledge? NO, THAT IS UNATURAL CARNAL KNOWLEDGE
C) What about men who have anal sex with women? Is that natural carnal knowledge? NO, THAT IS UNATURAL CARNAL KNOWLEDGE.
The three examples cited above all constitute unatural carnal knowledge. Is President Mahama and his homophobic supporters willing to arrest heterosexuals too who engage in the above cited examples?
Are we going to set up a new Police unit called PEEPING UNIT that will be sent to go and hide under people bedrooms to see what kind of sex they are engaging in or we are going to allow this unit with cameras peeping through the windows of Ghanaians?
Whatever what this government plans to do, this law is not geared towards homosexuals alone but the whole populace. Even if the government can identify homosexuals walking down the streets of Ghana, they cannot be arrested because you have to catch them in the act of what you define as unatural carnal knowledge to arrest them.
We have a whole lot of problems in Ghana, Politicians looting our money with all kinds of benefits, rent allowances, salaries that are out of the roof, bad roads claiming the lives of citizens, shortage of water, rationing of electricity, dilapedated schools and hospitals with no equipments to treat common diseases but the government want to be a big brother legislating morality it cannot enforce. If the government want to make homosexuality a crime, it should enact laws explicitly making homosexuality a crime then the Government can arrest anybody who identifies himself as a homosexual and making the law enforceable because as it stands now, Homosexuality is not a crime in Ghana.
I know there are going to be constitutional lawyers that are going to take the President and his Information Minister to task by this statement that homosexuality is a crime in Ghana.
(CARDINAL of TRUTH)