NEWS COMMENTARY ON PERCEIVED AGENDA OF THE LGBTQI+
All through its print and electronic media, Ghana has been abuzz with impassioned and well-reasoned discussions touching on whether to permit the promotion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and other related practices in the country or not. The prevailing viewpoint of leading religious, political and traditional authorities, some civil society organisations and the generality of those heard from, is that such sexual orientations or practices are alien to Ghanaian cultural norms and values. They also offend the commandments of God, be they expressed through Christian, Muslim or Traditional codes of conduct Ghanaians adhere to.
But the push by certain interest groups for the normalisation of such sexual practices, often accompanied by condescending socioeconomic conditionalities or threats of sanctions for non-adherence is not a new phenomenon.
Such overtures have been made at the highest levels of our national governance system with successive Heads of State of the Fourth Republic having laid down the national position of Ghana as being averse to the LGBTQ agenda. Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor, John Atta Mills and John Dramani Mahama have all not minced words to some Western powers who threatened to curtail traditional funding facilities to Ghana if we maintain a legal and moral stance against legalizing homosexual activities. Following the controversy his comments in a November 2017 Al Jazeera TV interview raised, President Akufo-Addo also, in March 2018, issued a statement firmly declaring that, “It will not be under his Presidency that same-sex marriage will be legalized in Ghana.” Speaking at the installation programme for the new Anglican Archbishop of Ashanti-Mampong over the weekend, the President again declared categorically and repeated to applause from the congregation, his previous stance on matters concerning same-sex marriage in this country.
Prior to President Akufo-Addo’s definitive statement on Ghana’s position on the LGBTQ matter, the gay rights lobbyists sought to re-emerge with a new onslaught, supported by some western missions in Ghana.
After the recent inauguration of an LGBTQ community office and fundraising event in Accra, attended by the ambassadors of some western countries, the EU Delegation posted on its official Twitter account support for activities of such groups, while depicting the Ghana flag. This message elicited the anger of most Ghanaians. It is interesting to note in this scheme of impositions that, while sodomy and LGBTQ practices that were judged by God with brimstone and fire in the Book of Genesis are being imposed on us, polygamy, for instance, which is traditionally African and endorsed through the lives of the patriarchs and other men of God in the very Bible the European colonists introduced us to, has been criminalised by the legal systems inherited from the West. So much so that, the United States, which is the global champion of human and civil rights, limits American Muslims, whose religion allows them to marry as many as four women, to legally register marriage to only one woman, per U.S. federal laws.
But even as the nation is fending off the renewed offensive by the LGBTQ lobby, another of such unseemly or immoral practices is subtly being introduced into our society, especially to our valuable and impressionable youth. This sneaky agenda is the endorsement of premarital or extramarital sexual promiscuity through commercials promoting condom use for casual sex, currently running on many of our television stations. Ostensibly packaged as a measure to combat sexually-transmitted HIV infection, this alluring advert, funded by a consortium of mostly foreign health NGOs coordinated by the Ghana AIDS Commission and the Ghana Health Service, sends the erroneous message that sex should be readily available so far as a man has condoms in hand. That commercial, with the ambivalent tagline, “…come prepared”, conveys more than is necessary to combat HIV-Aids. It is reminiscent of another condom marketing strategy of the early 2000s that had the slogan, “If it’s not on, it’s not in.” Then flag bearer of the Convention Peoples’ Party, Professor George Panyin Hagan, at an anniversary event of a leading mission school in Ghana, disambiguate the meaning of this controversial advert as, “So, if it’s on, it will be in”, and accordingly condemned that campaign, as all well-meaning Ghanaians did too, then.
Today, while the laws of Ghana concerning homosexual and other similar sex-related activities may have to be fine-tuned and made more comprehensive and clear, and we all abide by the scriptural injunction to “Hate the sin of LGBT, for instance, but not the sinners” and not persecute them on that account alone, the uproar that has greeted this new move by the LGBT lobby has sent a strong signal that we as a people cherish our sovereignty and condemn any attempt to unfairly impose upon us practices our cultural, religious and moral values frown upon. It is not normal for people to flaunt their heterosexual activities in the public domain; so Lesbians, Gays, and all related sexual identities – inadmissible as they might be – ought not to be permitted within the ambit of requisite laws and cultural values and norms of Ghana, to do so too.
The President has spoken, saying “It will never happen!”, whether now or till Christ’s return, rendered more imminent by such untoward practices that accord with end-time prophecies.
By Raymond Tuvi, Media and Development Consultant.