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You cannot criminalize a 'benign,' natural behavior

Fri, 25 Aug 2017 Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

He is a Member of Parliament for Assin-South, in the Central Region. He is also described as an ordained cleric on the ticket of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). And currently, his Googled profile states that he is pursuing a doctorate in political science at the country’s flagship academy, the University of Ghana, from which institution he already holds a Master’s Degree in Business Management, having already obtained a first degree in Mining Engineering from the Tarkwa-based University of Mines.

What all this says about Rev. John Ntim-Fordjuor is that at 31 years old, the man is still young and apparently has a good head on his shoulders. But it is doubtful whether he is knowledgeable enough to fully appreciate the political and/or governance concept of the “Separation of Church and State,” as clearly enshrined in Ghana’s 1992 Republican Constitution. In other words, since he has decided to wade into the sexuality debate, regarding the fundamental human rights of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transsexuals and Queers (LGBTQs) to freely and lawfully pursue their lifestyles without the arbitrary and capricious persecution and harassment by highly placed individuals in government like Mr. Ntim-Fordjuor, who recently called on the government not to “decriminalize” homosexuality, the Assin-South’s NPP-MP had better be promptly apprised of the implications it entails.

Indeed, it is rather pathetic for a man with a scientific academic and/or professional background to demonstrate absolutely no knowledge and/or appreciation for some of the most current and advanced scientific studies on LGBTQ lifestyle, and yet presume to have a right to legislate on who qualifies to live what kind of lifestyle in postcolonial, democratic and, I like to believe, civilized Ghana. I hope his advice to the Akufo-Addo Administration not to “decriminalize” homosexual lifestyle, was not based on his personal and private faith or theological background and beliefs, because the tenets of his adopted religious faith or creed, whatever this may be, have absolutely nothing to do with a God-centered but constitutionally purely secular Ghana.

Even as Christians, we don’t all believe in exactly the same things. But even more significantly, it is worthy of note to appreciate the fact that while Ghana may be a Christian-majority country, it is, nevertheless, not an exclusively religiously a monolithic country. At least 15-percent of the country’s population is Muslim, as well as a remarkable percentage of Ghanaians being Animists or believers in Traditional African Religions. There may very well be others that I cannot readily recall or know about.

What all the foregoing means is that the issue of homosexuality must be perceived and squarely treated as one of human rights. Even as heterosexuals, we all don’t engage in sexual intercourse, or coition, in exactly the same ways. You see, the act of sexual expression or expressiveness is not peculiar or unique to humans. Animals, of which we are only the self-appointed highest form or class, also procreate through the engagement of coitus/coition; thus, describing homosexuality as a “veritable act of bestiality” merely and scandalously exposes the crass ignorance of the critics.

You also cannot soundly argue about homosexuality’s being anti-procreativity or anti-creation, because a remarkable percentage of heterosexual sex does not result in reproduction or procreation. Time for our leaders to wake up and smell the proverbial coffee.

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.