Ghana must clarify stance on same sex marriage

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The National Coordinator for Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF Ghana), Bernice Sam, is proposing to the Constitution Review Commission to clearly define Ghana's stance on same sex marriages.

According to her, the existing Constitutional provisions do not clearly define marriage, hence, leaving room for arguments with regards to homosexuality and lesbianism.

She explained that countries such as Malawi, Zimbabwe and Uganda are considering same sex marriages due to these unclear constitutional provisions.

Ms Bernice Sam, who was speaking at a public forum organized by the National Constitutional Reform Coalition on the 1992 Constitution in Accra on Monday December 13, stated that if Ghana is serious about scrapping off same sex marriages, the time is now.

“Article 11 that lists the laws in Ghana includes Common Law and under Common law it says customary law is also part of the laws of Ghana. And we know that when we define marriage, it is left to the definitions under customary law. Some countries like Malawi, Zimbabwe, Uganda, are looking at same sex marriages. In fact in South Africa, there are laws on domestic violence recognising violence within same sex relationships”.

“We believe it is time for our constitution to define marriage clearly because we cannot hide from the fact that these kinds of unions may catch up with us in the future. This is the time to say that we don't want same sex marriages.”

She charged that “the Constitution Review Commission should make proposals that clearly define marriage such that we do away with the possibilities of people bringing up arguments that say that our Constitution is gender neutral so we can now make the argument that same sex marriages are allowed,” insisting, “We don't want same sex marriages in Ghana”.

There have been debates that the criminal code of the 1992 constitution does not clearly interpret what homosexuality means, thus making it almost impossible for the act of homosexuality to be considered criminal.

The debate on homosexuality has prompted calls for a national debate on the subject since it is gaining roots in the country.

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