I try to follow news and blogs about my former host country (Ghana) on a weekly basis (at least). One of the latest themes concerns homosexuality.
Homosexuality on the continent has been a major international news item this past year. Most notably, Uganda considered introducing legislation that would make homosexual sex a crime worthy of the death penalty. Fortunately, the legislation didn’t go that far though it is my understanding that it is still a crime. In the U.S., this received attention because of linkages to some American evangelical Christians.
In neighboring Kenya, homosexuality has also been attacked. However, as Sean Jacobs reports, some recent judicial nominations there suggest that the legal system may be able to at least halt if not reverse some of the damaging laws that have been enacted.
In Ghana, homosexuality is also interpreted to be a crime (rarely prosecuted as an “unnatural carnal act”), and they too are a former colony of Britain, and they too have a strong link to evangelical Christians in the US. Not that all of those connections matter, but some argue they do. Here are some recent posts on the subject:
- Ato Kwamena Dadzie argues “Let them be gay”. He argues that whether or not one “understands” homosexuality, it shouldn’t matter. He follows that with an interesting post of a facebook thread about the original post:“Let them be gay: A facebook conversation.” One of my favorite Ato quotes from the exchange there: “You didn’t blindly agree with my ideas. That’s fair. Problem is that you blindly argued yours.”
- Ato’s blog posts caught the attention of some Westerners that blog about Ghana. At Critical Point, Graham has a post about “The 8 Dumbest Arguments Against Homosexuality in Ghana”. And Kajsa tries to summarize the debate.
- Meanwhile, poor logic and evidence rules the day in some of the national media (just try to follow whatMoses is saying at Joyonline). Consider also that the Community in Opposition to Homosexuality in Ghana (COHOG) claims that homosexuality is a western phenomenon. I take this to mean that the only gays in the world are from the West?
- And Vice President Mahama’s statements about links between homosexuality and HIV/AIDS apparently is creating some problems for his party.
It will indeed be interesting to see whether gay rights emerge as an important issue in the next national elections.