In Ghana where a law has not yet been passed in support or against gay and lesbian rights some people perceived to be engaged in same sex relationships are attacked by people opposed to them. This is happening in Nima a suburb of Accra and other parts of the country.
Although the incidents are reported to the security system, no known action is taken this matter , giving indications that the society including the law enforcers frown on the gays .
What is strengthening the hands of the anti gay groups is that apart from the long standing biblical and Quranic injunctions against same sex practices governments in some African countries such as Nigerian and Uganda have passed laws against same sex relationships prescribing long prison sentences for all those caught involved in same sex acts. Nigerian and Ugandan leaders who stood against same sex relationships once kicked against the U S and European attempts to force their hands to accept gay rights saying they can keep their financial support that is tied to gay rights.
According to informed sources, currently suspicious neighbors and landlords in Nigeria and Ghana with strong religious and cultural beliefs pry into the private lives of gays and lesbians. People the gays consider as blackmailers do hunt for victims on the social media sites they use in meeting other men. Police officers in Nigeria for example routinely stop them to search for incriminating images and chats on their cell phones.
After an anti-gay law went into effect last year, many gay Nigerians say they have been subjected to new levels of harassment, even violence.
They blame the law, the authorities and broad social intolerance for their troubles. But they also blame an unwavering support of the US government whose commitment to their cause has been open and overt across Africa
A 24 year old university student studying biology in Minna, a town in central Nigeria known simply as Mike says “The U.S. support for gays is making matters worse,” “There’s more open resistance now to them.”
Since 2012, the American government has put more than $700 million into supporting gay rights groups and causes globally. More than half of that money has focused on sub-Saharan Africa — just one indication of this continent’s importance to the new policy.
Information gathered in news on line is as follows; America’s money and public diplomacy have opened conversations and opportunities in societies where the subject was taboo just a few years ago. But they have also made gay men and lesbians more visible — and more vulnerable to harassment and violence, people on both sides of the gay rights issue contend. The American campaign has stirred misgivings among many African activists, who say they must rely on the West’s support despite often disagreeing with its strategies.
In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, the final passage of the 2014 law against homosexuality — which made same-sex relationships punishable by 14 years in prison and made it a crime to organize or participate in any type of gay meeting — is widely regarded by both supporters and opponents of gay rights as a reaction to American pressure on Nigeria and other African nations to embrace gay rights.
Much as any right thinking Ghanaian abhors harassment of people just for their beliefs the gay right activists and those wanting to practice same sex acts and marriage must know that all parts of Africa especially Ghana, Nigeria and some other nations are no go areas for gays and lesbians. Due to their religious and cultural beliefs they (Africans) cannot simply live with people with same sex life styles. Majority of the citizens of Africa are religiously inclined. Most of them hold the belief that Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed in the ancient days by God when the people disobeyed God by practicing same sex acts among many other sins such as promiscuity.
There is the need for the people and leaders in Africa to reconsider the dangerous situation regarding pushing through same sex practices as part of human right acts. Yes despite the pressure from our benefactors the people and leaders must think through the issues involved in order to come out with workable measures to ensure peaceful, orderly development amidst good coexistence of the people.
Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai