Presidential candidate scapegoats gays in Ghana

Flag of Ghana June 16th, 2011 by Ruth.Pearce

A presidential candidate in Ghana has called for a national referendum on the legalisation of homosexuality.

Jacob Osei Yeboah - an aspiring independent candidate for the 2012 elections - stated that a referendum on the legalisation of same-sex acts is necessary to cement national opposition to gay rights.

“The phenomenon of Gayism and Lesbianism has been accepted by other nations that are very rich economically but socially very miserable,” he said. “Their wealth and influence in society are exceptionally phenomenal and unstoppable by religious and legislative arguments even by strong legislative institutions and powerful governments.”

“So it will be better for us to have a referendum on it,” he later added. “It is only through this that we can actually have the voice of the people which is the voice of God”

Ghanaian MP Samuel Atta Akyea argued that a referendum is unnecessary “because we have the statutes on the matter as to whether or not these gays have any rights or not.”

“So why a referendum? I do not see how that will be the way out. But if people have what they call natural desire towards the practice, they will face the law if they are found and arrested,” he added.

However, Ghanaian law only bans same-sex acts between men. Lesbian sex is technically legal, although openly gay women are likely to face harassment from state officials.

Yeboah is ultimately unlikely to gain a large proportion of the vote in 2012. Ghana has a two-party political system, with 97% of the vote going to candidates fielded by the major parties in the first round of the 2008 presidential election.

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