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04.09.2006 Social News

Supporting Gays and Lesbians

By DAILYEXPRESS
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Private legal practitioner and editor of the Daily Statesman has jumped to the defence of homosexuals in the country, questioning the basis of the decision to bar their planned conference in Ghana.

So far, the lone crusader for the gays and lesbians apart from the practitioners themselves, Gabby Otchere Darko says the relevant laws under reference, Act 29 of the Criminal Code talks about unnatural sexual intercourse linking to carnal knowledge between two people, and questions what exactly can be defined as unlawful or unnatural.

The Statesman editor shocked many last Friday when he opined on JOYFM's Drive Talk segment that the homosexuals should be allowed to hold their conference.

In a follow-up interview, Mr. Otchere Darko asked Ghanaians to be a little more tolerant; asking rhetorically whether the law as it exists now is enforceable.

“Is the law enforceable? What about lesbians? Technically, sex is when there is penetration so how does the law affect lesbians because it is impossible for a woman to penetrate another woman; in this case, how effective is the constitution concerning this? If a woman decides to use a vibrator in a sexual act or her husband decides to use it on his wife, does that make it illegal?”

Continuing with his chain of rhetorical questions, the Statesman editor asked Ghanaians who determines what constitutes a moral act that is legal and whether we should be determining what two consenting adults do in their bedroom?

There has been a lot of public outcry since news broke that some gays and lesbians are planning to hold an annual conference in Ghana but were facing challenges with securing a venue. Government moved in to bar any such conference, a move that met the approval of a generality of Ghanaians.

But Mr. Otchere Darko says the ban is tantamount to barring a debate on provisions of the constitution or any other law for that matter. According to him, the organization of a conference by homosexuals does not mean they'll be engaging in sexual activities during the conference.

He further argued that we appear to be shifting away from the liberal way of thinking to violating the principle of freedom of speech and expression. He added that placing a ban does not mean that the issue will be solved.

'The fact that I personally do not approve of a man having sex with another man does not mean that I should not have an objective mind' he said.

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