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General News of Thursday, 3 November 2011

Source: myjoyonline

MPs call for stiffer laws against homosexuality

In the wake of President JEA Mills’ rejection of threats by UK Prime Minister David Cameron to cut aid to countries with anti-gay laws, Members of Parliament have made a clarion for an amendment of the Criminal Code to impose stiffer sanctions on persons found guilty of the practice.

Echoing the president’s sentiments, the MPs asked the Executive to amend the Criminal Code, Act 29 (1960) and present it before the House, promising it will be passed swiftly.

Section 104 (1) (b) of the code says “Whoever has unnatural carnal knowledge of any person of sixteen years or over with his consent is guilty of a misdemeanor.” It described unnatural carnal knowledge as "sexual intercourse with a person in an unnatural manner."

But the MPs believe homosexuality should carry stiffer punishment and want the law amended to reflect this.

Joy FM’s Parliamentary Correspondent Sammy Darko reported all MPs sought an opportunity make their voices heard and those who could not catch the eye of House Speaker Joyce Bamford Addo to make their statement on the floor of the House, chased journalists in the corridors of Parliament to make their point.

While supporting the arguments for stiffer punishment for gays, MP for New Juaben North, Mr Hackman Owusu Agyemang appealed for calm and asked Ghanaians to temper their fury.

A former Foreign Minister, Mr Owusu Agyemang said it did not do the country’s credibility any good if people, while expressing their legitimate concerns over the UK Prime Minister’s threats, proceeded to hurl insults at Mr Cameron.

Ghana would not be happy if Brits started castigating President Mills for his response to their Prime Minister, he said, and Ghanaians must not do so either.

Mr Owusu Agyemang is troubled by the utterances of some radio commentators on the subject.

“I want to urge our countrymen, our compatriots, to stop insulting the Prime Ministers and the presidents of countries where [homosexuality is allowed] because we wouldn’t be happy if they insulted President Mills because he has taken this stance. We are a sovereign nation, we’ve decided we don’t want to go that way (legalise homosexuality) – that way we will never go and so long as I have a vote in this Parliament, I will never cast a vote for anything that amends the law [to legalise homosexuality] – so when the president says that we will never change, we are all with him but when people now extend the frontiers of this argument to other nations and even political parties and individuals then Madam Speaker, it is sad,” he stated.