The Director of LGBT (Lebian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Rights in Ghana, Alex Kofi Donkor has described comments made by the Gender Minister designate, Sarah Adwoa Safo as unfortunate and dehumanizing to the LGBT group of Ghanaians.
According to him, the Gender Minister designate was “playing the populist rhetoric and appealing to people’s worst prejudice” and indicated that Adwoa Safo in her capacity as an lawyer could have analysed the issue based on the tenets of human rights as enshrined in the constitution.
Adwoa Safo, answering a question thrown to her by the vetting committee of parliament on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 said that the criminality of LGBT is non-negotiable.
“The issue of LGBT is an issue which when mentioned creates some form of controversies but what I want to say is that our laws are clear on such practices. LGBT is non-negotiable and our cultural practices also frown on it and these are my two strong stands on the matter and this is what I stand for”.
But speaking in an interview, Alex Kofi Donkor says, the Section 104 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 prohibiting and punishing unnatural carnal knowledge as alluded by Adwoa Safo “is the basis to which some people find reason to perpetrate harm against other people”.
Ghanaians who are gays, lesbians, bisexual or transgender suffer widespread discrimination and abuse in public and in family settings.
While calling for the for the end of violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity, he hinted that, the law of carnal knowledge should be revised as it was an archaic British colonial law adopted by the country after independence.
“Certain countries like India; Angola and Botswana have repealed that law”, he added.
A legal practitioner, ‘Lawyer’ Obiri Boahen says the LGBT group cannot make any case of an infringement on their right when their acts blatantly defy the law.
“If they want a proper interpretation of the law, they should go to court. As far as I’m concerned, lesbianism, gay is against the law; until that law is repealed or amended”.
However, he cautioned the general public to desist from physical violence, discrimination and psychological abuses meted out to LGBT people.
Dozens of LGBT people have been attacked by mobs or members of their own families, Human Rights Watch found.