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Opinions Wed, 22 Dec 2021

Discrimination, violence against LGBT community in Ghana

Ghana often prides itself to be a democratic state and the black stars of democracy within sub-Saharan African on whom most African use as a benchmark to measure their democratic strength or level.

To be measured as a democratic nation stands on several parameters and just not transition. Ghana has done quite well since the inception of its fourth Republic, the country has been able to transmit power smoothly from one political power to different political power but fail on some of the parameters, especially the area of human rights which is the main anchor of democracy.

The question l ask is, if we claim to be front runners when it comes to the tenets of democracy simply because we were able to transmit power and cannot practice the main tenet of democracy which is the human right, then the country has to reassess herself as being black stars of democracy in Africa.

LGBT which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Community have been discriminated against and violently brutalized for quite a long now within Ghana and Africa at large and the phenomenon seems not to end any moment from soon.

For instance, in August 2015 in Nima, Accra, a young man was allegedly brutally and assaulted by members of a vigilante group called “safe empire" and several young men and women were blackmailed for economic gains and such victims had to fly from their Community to a safer hidden place to avoid the wrath of people or the community.

The discrimination against LGBT is not limited to Ghana alone but across Sub-Saharan African and example is what has been captured in research carried by Dorah P Amory which was originally confirmed by IGLHRC which stands for International Gay Lesbian Human Rights Campaign which has its content as three Lesbian who was raped on gunpoint as they were seeking refuge in a feminist camp in Calaba in Nigeria.

In sum, LGBT Community has rights and their right must be upheld or respected within the country. I took the pains to comb through the 1992 constitution and had not come across any iota of evidence that penalizes the right of people to choose their partners or choice of sex, though this evidence of mine stands to be corrected since l am not a legal practitioner and can also attest there are ongoing debates on the need to criminalize such practice in Ghana.

As a country, we should rather be thinking of ways to reform such Community to be accepted by the larger society and also look forward to adopting best practices with regards to LGBT.

It is important to emphasize that l am not a practitioner of LGBT but as a concerned Ghanaian and human rights advocate there should be a frantic effort to appreciate and understand the preference of this community. As long as they have not committed any crime but rather a choice made, then we have to respect and protect them.
Columnist: Michael Yiran
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