|Stephane Tchakam, Charge de Communication Pan Africa ILGA|
The media outlet JoyOnline is reporting that Western Region Minister Paul Evans Aidoo has ordered the immediate arrest of all LGBTI persons in the region. This order follows a demonstration against homosexuality by a network of churches in the Western Region and the presentation of a petition to Aidoo. The Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) also condemned homosexuality on Monday.
The Western Region Minister Paul Evans Aidoo has ordered the immediate arrest of all homosexuals in the region.
He has tasked the Bureau of National Investigations and all security agencies to smoke out persons suspected to be engaging in same sex.
He also enlisted the services of landlords and tenants to provide reliable information which will lead to the arrest of homosexuals.
His directive follows months of campaigns against the practice of homosexuality in the country.
Only yesterday, the Christian Council of Ghana capped months of protestations against the practice of homosexuality with a strongly worded message against the practice and courting Ghanaians not to vote for any politician who believes in the rights of homosexuals...
Mr. Paul Aidoo minced no words at all in his dislike for the practice. He stated that “all efforts are being made to get rid of these people in the society.”
He said once they are arrested they will be hauled before court to test the strength of the law which frowns upon homosexuality in the country.
But a Lawyer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has challenged the legitimacy of the minister's action.
Ernest Kofi Abotsie told Joy News’ Dzifah Bampoh that no person can be arrested for breach of morality, explaining that the law on “unnatural canal knowledge” in the criminal code is still ambiguous and cannot necessarily be said to be the same as homosexuality.
He faulted the minister for directing the police to embark on the arrest of homosexuals, arguing that the police by their professional training must be seen to be carrying out their duty, if there is the breach of law, without being prompted.
But he pointed out there is need to test the law pertaining to having unnatural canal knowledge of another person and pursuit should be as far as to the Supreme Court.
The order to arrest LGBTI persons in the Western Region comes after a demonstration by a network of churches in the region and the presentation of a petition to Western Region Minister Paul Evans Aidoo.
Christians from various denominations including Heads of Churches on Saturday took to the streets against the upsurge of homosexuality and lesbianism in Sekondi-Takoradi.
The Western Regional Network of Churches organized the demonstration.
Some of the placards carried by the demonstrators read, “Speak against Gayism”, “Avoid Gayism” and “Don’t do it, it is wrong”.
The demonstrators converged at the Railway Park at Sekondi where Bishop Emmanuel Botwey, General Overseer of the Christian Faith Church, presented a petition to Mr Paul Evans Aidoo, Western Regional Minister.
Bishop Botwey called on all arms of government to come out openly and condemn homosexuality.
He said the practice was not acceptable religiously and culturally and should not be encouraged in the country.
Mr Aidoo said the government would ensure that the practice did not flourish in the country saying homosexuality is an offence under the Criminal Code.
He urged the Network of Churches to submit memorandum on their stand on the subject to the Constitutional Review Commission.
He said Parliament would consider their position when the report of the Commission comes before it.
The Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) also condemned homosexuality on Monday. The Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) is a member of the CCG.