Ghanaian president, Nana Akufo-Addo reassures church leaders that he won’t decriminalise homosexuality

Ghanaian president, Nana Akufo-Addo reassures church leaders that he won’t decriminalise homosexuality

The President of Ghana has said he has “no plans” of changing the country’s laws on homosexuality.

As with most of Africa, it is currently illegal to be gay in Ghana, and gay people can face up to three years in prison. Human rights groups say that physical and violent homophobic attacks against LGBT people are still common, often encouraged by the media and religious leaders.

President Nana Akufo-Addo had claimed late last year that the country is bound to eventually decriminalise homosexuality. In an interview with Al Jazeera, he said “it is something that is bound to happen,” and that “like elsewhere in the world, the activities of individuals and groups [will lead to change].”

This response to the interviewer led to a swift and enduring backlash against the president from Ghanaians.

And so, in a speech to the 2018 Synod of the Global Evangelical Church a few days ago, the president has said that he would not support change.

Rt. Rev Setorwu Kwadzo Ofori, the Moderator of the Global Evangelical Church, had pressed him to make clear that he would resist any international pressure to abolish the law.

In his speech, Akufo-Addo said: “The Church and the Government have to work together since we have the same aim. There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that the men of God have the moral authority to hold the political leadership to scrutiny. It is important that we do not debase the principles we purport to uphold.”

He added: “I do not hesitate to state openly that I am a Christian in politics, and will continue to be so, a politician who is deeply influenced by Christian values… Let us join hands together and build the happy and prosperous Ghana we all want. It is well within our reach.

“And, let me assure that this Government has no plans to change the law on same-sex marriage. We have no authority, and we will not seek any authority to do so.”

However, while we are plagued with all these sentiments of a largely homophobic African continent, here are a few countries in Africa where it is OK to be gay.

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