I have yet to see the statement but this report indicates that Ghana’s President John Atta Mills has broken his silence on his policy toward decriminalization of homosexuality.
Ghana’s President has not spoken but a recent appointee seems to have taken on the role of government spokesperson. Lauretta Lamptey, a recent appointment to the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice clarified the position of her office on Tuesday.
In short, the government is leaving it up to Parliament to either decriminalize homosexuality, to make the penalties stronger or leave things as they are. Lamptey says that being homosexual is not a crime but some kinds of homosexual behavior might be.
I posted on this at Religion Dispatches – the rest is over there…
Paul Canning has more on GLB efforts to response to the recent anti-gay rhetoric.
Two Saturdays ago, I interviewed Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr by phone about the recent upsurge of anti-gay rhetoric in Ghana. Dr. Okoampa-Ahoofe is a Ghanaian who now lives in the US and is a college professor at Nassau Community College. I intend to incorporate his input in future articles on Ghana. For now, I am just going to refer to a column he wrote for Myjoyonline about our interview. He included just about everything we discussed so it is a pretty efficient way to get across his views.
In short, he is concerned about the level of anti-gay sentiment in Ghana and hopes the country does not move toward a Ugandan approach. Please note, this is a Ghanaian observing Ghana and making this comparison.
Yesterday, I posted a piece at Religion Dispatches about the response of Ghana’s government to my inquiries about the recent calls for arrests of gays. Here is the lead:
In the face of reports that Ghana’s Western Region Minister recently called for the arrest of gays, a Ghanaian government source told RD today that the government was not “clamping down” on sexual minorities. The source, who did not want to be named since he was not speaking officially, said that Ghana is a law abiding country and that those on a crusade should take up the matter in the courts.
The issue appears to be a sensitive one for the government. The Ministry of Information and the Office of the President declined to speak to me and one staffer simply hung up when asked if the government supported recent calls to arrest gays.
Go read the rest over at RD.
UPDATE (7/28/11) – Reached the President’s office today and the spokeswoman there said she was not authorized to talk about the President’s position on the call for arrests of gays in Ghana. The Communications Director who she thought might comment was out until Monday.