“ I am throwing a challenge to the religious leaders in our country including my own church The church of Pentecost to come out boldly and speak against the new colonialism from Britain called LGBT or Gayism”
This was the statement of the Deputy Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo.
Speaking on Ahotor FM Morning show on Thursday 19th April with Onantifour Addae Mununkum, the Deputy Chairman further stated that it is an affront to Ghana’s laws and morals to receive a suggestion of such nature from Theresa May, the Prime Minister of Britain on the need to change our anti gay laws to favour LGBTs.
Theresa May urged Commonwealth nations to overhaul “outdated” anti-gay laws and said the UK “deeply regrets” its role in the legacy of violence and discrimination.
The prime minister drew cheers and applause when she told delegates at the Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) that” nobody should face discrimination or persecution because of who they are or who they love”.
Campaigners have urged Ms May to intervene over the colonial-era legislation affecting millions of LGBT+ people, as same-sex relations are still illegal in 36 Commonwealth countries.
Speaking at the event in London, Ms May said: “I am all too aware that these laws were often put in place by my own country. They were wrong then and they are wrong now.
“As the United Kingdom’s prime minister I deeply regret both the fact that such laws were introduced and the legacy of discrimination, violence and death that persists today.
“As a family of nations we must respect one another’s cultures and traditions but we must do so in a manner consistent with our common value of equality – a value that is clearly stated in the Commonwealth Charter.
“Nobody should face discrimination or persecution because of who they are or who they love and the UK stands ready to help any Commonwealth member wanting to reform outdated legislation that makes such discrimination possible.”
The move was welcomed by campaigners, but pressure remains on Commonwealth leaders to take action.
Ofosu-Ampofo avowed that the statement by the British Prime Minister introducing anti-gay laws into our country as colonial masters is false. He stated that our culture and traditional believes speaks to the contrary on same sex marriage.
“Our culture and tradition as a people do not recognize these acts of ‘gayism’. Our traditional leaders’ excommunicate people who were involved in these acts even before the arrival of our colonial leaders” “It is not correct for her to have stated that. We are now a sovereign state and can decide to hid to their advice or otherwise. We don’t need them. This is the highest form or neocolonialism” He stated.
Ofosu-Ampofo also stated that the president, Nana Akufo-Addo should take notice of the challenges facing the country, which includes massive unemployment bedeviling the country and focus on it either than matters concerning LGBTs.
President Akufo-Addo Speaking on Aljazeera’s Talk to Al Jazeera hosted by Jane Dutton said until there is a strong call by the society for this to be done, there is no way the laws will be changed.
“This is a social, cultural issue, 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 now have a new paradigm in Ghana.’
“At the moment, I don’t feel, I don’t see that in Ghana there is that strong current of opinion that is saying this is something we need to deal with. It is not so far a matter that is on the agenda,” he added.
Although there are no specific laws against homosexuality in Ghana, the country frowns on all sexual acts it deems ‘unnatural’.
He cited examples in other parts of the world where activities of these individuals or groups towards the legalization of homosexualism drove the change in laws, adding when the country gets there, a decision will be taken but for now there is no such support.
“…I grew up in England at the time that homosexuality was banned there. It was illegal and I lived a period where British politicians thought it was an item not to even think about.
“But suddenly the activities of individuals and groups, a certain awareness, a certain development grew and 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,” he added.
Ofosu-Ampofo advised the president to focus on the core mandate, which is developing the country and its people. “Nana Akufo-Addo should set an agenda for Ghana not an agenda for gays and lesbians; I clearly stated that after the president’s interview with Al Jazeera on the subject, this will set a tone for the increase of gays and lesbians.
This also led to three heads of states visiting who are gays visiting the country of which one brought his partner” “I am challenging all good moral teachers and religious leaders to speak against this action. If the church keeps quiet on this issue the consequences will come right back to them”
“People that we knew who were very vociferous are now calm on the issue, in this regard I am challenging my own church, and the leadership of Church of Pentecost to get up and make their position clear on this matter.
The most respected chairman will be leaving soon but I want him to speak because his voice carries a lot of weight if no one will talk, let us talk as a church” He stated.
Daniel Koranteng Kwagyiri|ahotoronline.com|Ghana