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General News of Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Source: Graphic.com.gh

'I am not part of conspiracy to promote homosexuality' - Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo says comments he made about homosexuality in an interview last year were not part of a "concerted synchronised attempt" on his part to promote or advocate for the practice.

The President in that interview broadcast on Al Jazeera’s Talk To Al Jazeera hosted by Jane Dutton in November last year said a sufficiently strong coalition is bound to emerge in the future that will eventually push for a change in the Ghanaian law prohibiting homosexuality.

He said: "I don't believe that in Ghana so far, a sufficiently strong coalition has emerged which is having that impact on public opinion that will say change it, let's then have a new paradigm in Ghana.

"When quizzed by the host as to whether he would support such a movement, Akufo-Addo responded: "I think that it is something that is bound to happen".

He recounted how the United Kingdom did not consider homosexuality an issue when he was schooling there but later the activities of certain groups grew stronger and “it forced a change in law, I believe that those are the same processes that will bring about changes in our situation.”

“At the moment, I don’t feel, I don't see that in Ghana there is that strong current of opinion that will say this is something that we need you to deal with, It is not so far a matter which is on the agenda.”

However, at today's Meet The Press session in Accra, Akufo-Addo clarified his position on the matter saying:

“I am not involved in any conspiracies. I am not part of any conspiracy to promote anything.

“I think these are matters that are in the public domain and people are entitled to their own views. There is no concerted synchronised attempt on my part to promote the advocacy of it,” he added.

Currently, under Ghanaian criminal law (Chapter 6 of the Criminal Code, 1960, as amended by The Criminal Code (Amendment) Act, 2003) same-sex sexual activity among males is illegal. It is uncertain whether same-sex sexual activity among females is illegal.

A recent report titled “No choice but to Deny Who I Am’: Violence and Discrimination against LGBT People in Ghana” by Human Rights Watch (HRW) catalogued several cases of abuse and discrimination against Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Ghanaians, which it described as “widespread.”

A 30-year-old woman identified as Pearl in the HRW report narrated how she was nearly torched by some residents in Kumasi.

“They took me outside, dragging me and beating me at the same time. A boy put a car tire around my neck and poured petrol over my body, ready to burn me,” she reportedly told the HRW.