The President of Ghana says that the country is bound to eventually decriminalise homosexuality – but only after popular support grows.
Nana Akufo-Addo, who became the country’s President in January, was asked in an interview with Al Jazeera last month about whether he could see the country reform on LGBT issues.
It is currently illegal to be gay in Ghana, and gay men 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. But President Akufo-Addo likened Ghanian society to the UK in the 1960s, before the decriminalisation of homosexuality.
He said: “These social, cultural issues… I don’t believe that in Ghana so far, a sufficiently strong coalition has emerged to change public opinion, and have a new paradigm in Ghana.” He added: “I think that it is something that is bound to happen. Like elsewhere in the world, the activities of individuals and groups [will lead to change].”
The leader continued: “I grew up in England, I went to school in England and I grew up at a time when homosexuality was banned there and was illegal. I lived there at a period when among British politicians it was anathema to even think about changing the law. But the activities of individuals and groups and a certain awareness grew and grew stronger, and it forced a change in law."
The President’s comments have been seized upon by the country’s media, with some outlets falsely claiming that the President said the country “is likely to legalize same-sex marriage”. Read more via Pink News