President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has come under pressure over comments to the effect that the current law on homosexuality in Ghana is bound to change.
Akufo-Addo was speaking in an interview on Gulf news channel, Al Jazeera program dubbed 'Talk to Al Jazeera' hosted by Jane Dutton during which he addressed a series of national, continental and global issues.
The President Akufo-Addo said the country’s culture and tradition for now does not allow the legalisation of homosexuality but was quick to add that if public opinion changes, the law may just be amended.
“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.’ the president said when asked why homosexuality remained a criminal offence in Ghana.
The President’s comments appear not to have sat well with some anti-homosexual campaigners who insist that the country’s religious and social cultural beliefs frown on such practices.
“Maybe I didn’t hear him well, so somebody should come and explain to us exactly the policy direction of this government as far as same sex marriage is concerned,” Secretary of Christian Council, Rev Dr Kwabena Opuni Frimpong noted
“In public policy they say that what governments do or decide not to do are all policies so if we hear that one day if somebody can put pressure on Ghana we may change”, he said.
“Somebody needs to be very clear that we don’t need pressure to change. We want to keep what is good for us, even if we are poor,” he added.
The President also added that like in other parts of the world, it will take the activities of groups and individuals to try bringing the issue of homosexuality up for discussion.
“At the moment, I don’t feel and I don’t see that in Ghana there is that strong current of opinion that is saying that this is something that we need even deal with. It is not so far a matter which is on the agenda.”
A lawyer by training, the president recounted his days as a young boy in England where homosexuality was banned and illegal, a time when politicians thought it was an anathema to be homosexual saying he believed the same processes will bring about changes.
Akufo-Addo took office on January 7, 2017, after winning Ghana's seventh peaceful democratic elections since multiparty democracy returned to the country in 1992.