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Opinions of Saturday, 2 February 2013

Columnist: Asimenu-Forson, Kwaku

Did the constitution make us, Or…?

By Kwaku Asimenu-Forson

‘In the name of the almighty God, we the people of Ghana, in the exercise of our natural and inalienable right…do hereby adopt, enact and give to ourselves this constitution.’ This is the preamble (paraphrased) of the 4th Republican constitution of Ghana. So it is not the constitution which made us eh! Okay ! the constitution is actually just about two decades old , a creation of our own and a product malleable by our own devices. Having given ourselves this to guide us why has homosexuality become such a divisive issue? If we have a problem why don’t we just check what the constitution says and if we don’t like it let’s change it; period! We have rather pushed the supreme law of the land aside and we are crucifying a capable woman as if she is the one who has been pushing people’s manhood into forbidden holes.

So Nana Oye Lithur goes to parliament to express (part of) her views on the subject and all of a sudden the Moderator of the Presby Church and the National Union of Ghana Students are baying for her blood. This practice has been there since time immemorial and will continue to be there whether Oye is Minister or not. Thankfully, she says she is not a gay activist or promoter so why don’t we take her out of the picture and discuss the issue dispassionately? Listening to Rev Prof. Martey on Joy Fm. it appears he is well informed of what Oye might have said in the past on the subject and is convinced that she was not indifferent or neutral as she would want parliament to believe. Fair deal. Then I heard someone arguing that, judging from the Prof’s past altercation with Asiedu Nketia and the NDC party in the past, the Presby moderator is really not leading a moral crusade at all. The moderator might be a political surrogate trying to bring the government down. Ouch! As for NUGS, Hmm! the organization lost its principled bearings long ago. So We are now looking at our past to judge our current actions. Ok, so whoever has never committed any sin before, let him condemn the gays. All sin be sin. Fornications, adultery, theft, gossip, hatred ect. All be sin and their punishment is death before the God in whose name we have promulgated a constitution for ourselves.
But wait a minute, if we really believe in God in whose name we made our laws why didn’t we criminalize gaysm which is abominable before HIM? Or because we are a secular state? Then why did we not enact the constitution in our stupid secularism? We must decide this day whom to serve. God or our bodies and passions. Then we can throw away our conscience and behave bestiatically and bushiantically. Does a secular state mean we have no culture? What is the origin of law?
In every jurisdiction, law (the law of man as opposed to the law of nature) is the codification of the dos and dont’s of society. Morality births law. But what is considered moral changes and so should the laws borne of it. The critical questions, has Ghanaian culture changed sufficiently to accommodate public discussion on homosexuality or its acceptability? In a country with over 90% being either Christians or Moslems, there is no way, the country can be culturally ready for the acceptability of the practice of why did we not criminalise it instead of some vague legal phraseology such as ‘ unnatural carnal knowledge’ being illegal. A lexicon which could be interpreted to include oral sex,masturbation,’ brushing’ and maybe pre-mature ejaculation. Is it because of international pressure? Then why did Prez Mills pronounce clearly on the unacceptability of the subject and the sun shone on Ghana the next day? Is the practice not illegal in any country in the world? Why can’t parliament discuss it and pass a specific law or why can’t the supreme court be called to pronounce on it by all these’ Rights rights’ groups?
So what have I been sayin? I am kind of sounding like Clint the drunk eh! Well , what it means is that this topic is one that will generate confusion upon confusion before it is retired. That’s why Prez Mahama should have spared himself all this trouble by appointing someone else. As it were, Nana Oye’s capabilities are being buried under unnecessary misrepresentation of her views in a charged political atmosphere. So lets leave the madam alone and discuss the matter as a society. Lets also decide what we mean by a secular state. Lets stop raising hell on serious matters only when it suits a political agenda and have open minded discussions on topics like this in the interest of the forward march of our cultural transition.
But if you ask me, gayism should be situated in the context of tolerability of minority views. Ghanaians don’t respect minority views neither do we appreciate dissent that’s why lying is common here as it is elsewhere.