LGBT rights in Ghana
|LGBT rights in Ghana|
|Same-sex sexual activity legal?||Male illegal,|
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Ghana face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Male same-sex sexual acts are illegal in Ghana, though female same-sex sexual activity is legal.
Laws against homosexuality
Under Ghanaian law, male homosexual activity is officially illegal. Gay men can also be punished under provisions concerning assault and rape, only if "in public or with minor".
Criminal Code 1960- Chapter 6, Sexual Offences Article 105:
Whoever is guilty of unnatural carnal knowledge”
(a) of any person without his consent, is guilty of first degree felony;(b) of any person with his consent, or of any animal, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
The Constitution of Ghana guarantees the protection of all human rights for Ghanaian citizens "whatever his race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, religion, creed or gender", but does not mention sexuality.
Recognition of same-sex relationships
There is no legal recognition of same-sex couples under Ghanaian law.
Ghanaian law does not allow for specific anti-discrimination treatment of defendants based on sexual orientation.
Ghanaian law officially bans male same-sex sexual acts in Ghana. In Accra, very few gay and gay-friendly bars can be found, and the gay scene in Accra is considerably less noticeable than in Western countries. In Ghana's other large cities, such as Kumasi and Tema, gay social life exists, but on a less noticeable level. In rural areas, homosexuality is generally not accepted and many rural Ghanaians do not accept that homosexuality exists.
The British newspaper Capital Gay reported on October 21, 1994, that a homosexual man from Ghana was granted temporary asylum in South Africa after persecution for his sexual orientation.
According to an August 2004 Afrol News report, Prince MacDonald the leader of the organisation for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals in Ghana, commented that "there are lots and lots of people in our prisons who have been caught by this unfriendly law." He said that the police beat and punish people who are found to be gays.
Gay dating websites like Gaydar and Gayromeo host many profiles of gay men from Ghana, suggesting that laws concerning homosexuality are not strictly enforced. However, many of the young men on the internet sites are not necessarily gay and many are there to request money or engage in blackmail or extortion.
Lesbian and gay conference banned
On September 1, 2006, the Ghanaian government banned an LGBT rights conference that was alleged to be taking place on September 4 at the Accra International Conference Centre and at a venue in the city of Koforidua.
The Information Minister Kwamena Bartels said: "Government would like to make it absolutely clear that it shall not permit the proposed conference anywhere in Ghana. Unnatural carnal knowledge is illegal under our criminal code. Homosexuality, lesbianism and bestiality are therefore offences under the laws of Ghana."
The Information Minister was reported to have said that the Interior Minister should investigate and punish those who had given initial permission to the organizers.
The conference eventually appeared to be a hoax.
- Ottosson, Daniel (May 2008). State-sponsored Homophobia: A world survey of laws prohibiting same sex activity between consenting adults Pages 15,16. International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). Retrieved on 2009-05-05.
- ILGA legal survey on gay rights in Ghana
- Afrol News "Ghana's gays organize to fight British criminal law" August 19, 2004. Accessed March 3, 2006.
- BBC NEWS | Africa | Ghanaian gay conference banned
- UK government travel advice for Ghana: Local laws and customs
- "Ghana" Behind the Mask, a website on gay and lesbian affairs in Africa. Accessed March 9, 2006. <http://www.mask.org.za/index.php?page=ghana>
- gayghana.org An open platform for gay people in Ghana (wiki).
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