Homosexuality in Ghana -The fight for the legalization of LGBT has continued to linger as more groups have joined in the tussle.
A group which comprises eight men living in Canada have focused on the mission of getting the Ghanaian Government to accept and respect the rights of the LGBT citizens.
Wearing pink shirts that say “Ghana pavilion” on the front and “LGBTQ equal rights now” on the back, Abdulai and others have created an unofficial Ghanaian pavilion with the sole purpose of raising awareness of the persecution of people for their sexuality in the West African nation.
The group armed with pen and paper hope a petition will pressure authorities to decriminalize homosexuality in Ghana. According to them, they have received about 1000 signatures by concerned persons with their pen and paper.
“I can say we are getting ahead. And we are getting a whole lot of signatures,” said Saalu Taahiru Osman, a team member.
The group will be making their way to Canadian music festival Folklorama to protest against their country’s laws on the sidewalk. They hope that thousands of signatures will help rewrite Ghana’s Criminal Code, where homosexuality is illegal and is punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
The group which has gotten up to 1000 signatures by concerned persons, hopes to garner more, after which they would will be filing their petition to the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, as well as the Ghana High Commission in Canada, and Winnipeg’s members of parliament.
Ghana Pavilion says that insults and threats will not stop them from continuing their activism in Winnipeg.
Saalu Taahiru Osman narrated how he almost lost his life for being a homosexual in Ghana. In August 2014, he was leaving a club in the capital Accra when he was attacked because they thought he was dating their brother. He said he was threatened, beaten and stabbed with a bottle and was left half dead.
Mr. Osman was immediately taken to the hospital but unfortunately for him, he could not report the attack to the Police because of his sexual orientation; as homosexuality in Ghana is a crime. He later got a Mexican visa with a plan to seek refuge in the U.S.
Though now in Canada, the eight men aren’t sure if they can continue to stay in the country. They applied for refugee status after walking into Manitoba three months ago in Emerson, but their refugee hearings have been postponed.
The petition is calling on the Government of Canada to use its diplomatic clout to promote the respect for the human rights of all LGBTQ sexual minorities in Ghana.
What the Ghanaian Law Says About LGBT
Though vaguely specified, Ghana’s conservative society is strictly against the idea of men walking arms in arms with their fellow men. Under Ghana criminal law same-sex activity among males is illegal.
According to the criminal code, unnatural carnal knowledge is sexual intercourse with a person in an unnatural manner or with an animal. This is termed a misdemeanor and is punishable by law.