Homosexuality not criminal, deal with it – Ace Ankomah

General News of Saturday, 2 December 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

2017-12-02

play videoAce Ankomah, Legal practitioner

Legal practitioner, Ace Ankomah says the practice of same-sex relationship is not a criminal act under the laws of Ghana.

Constitution would have defined it and prescribed punishment if it was criminal.

But currently, the “thing is not criminal,” he told Samson Lardy Anyenini on Joy FM/Multi TV’s news analysis programme, Newsfile Saturday.

The issue of homosexuality has dominated discussions in the country following comments by the President on Qatar-based Al Jazeera.

President Nana Akufo-Addo had told Jane Dutton on Talk to Al Jazeera, legalization of homosexuality is not on his government’s agenda.

“At the moment, I don’t feel, I don’t see that in Ghana there is that strong current of opinion that is saying this is something we need to deal with. It is not so far a matter that is on the agenda,” he said.

The President’s comments have been interpreted by a large section of the public to mean his government may revise the law to favour the practice if it was pressured.

Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, has clarified the position of the government, saying it has no intention to legalise homosexuality.

But delving into the heart of the law, Ace Ankomah, said the Constitution does not criminalise the practice.

“If it is criminal the law must state that,” he said, adding even Ghana’s statute does not strictly define “marriage as between a man and woman.”

He referred to the president’s comments on Al Jazeera as a “typical Akufo-Addo response” to issues, saying it was “nuanced.”

But Tamale Central Member of Parliament (MP), Inusah Fuseini said the president’s comment was a tacit invitation to human rights groups to push for the legalisation of the practice.

“He spoke rightly as a lawyer, but wrongly as a politician,” he said, adding president Akufo-Addo proved to the international community that “he is tolerant of homosexuality.”

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