Kofi Abotsi, a lecturer at the GIMPA Law School, wants Ghana to officially define a national position on the controversial gay rights issue.
The nomination of human rights lawyer Nana Oye Lithur as Minister-designate of Gender, Children and Social Protection reignited discussions as to whether the laws of the country recognize homosexuals.
The nominee was not spared on Wednesday when she appeared before Parliament’s Appointments Committee, even though it was comprised solely of members of the president’s own party, the National Democratic Congress. Committee members persistently pummeled her with questions regarding her stance on homosexuality.
Mrs. Oye Lithur was resolute in her responses, maintaining that even though she will not promote the practice of homosexuality, the fundamental human rights of those who engage in it must not be overlooked by those who condemn same-sex relations.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday, Mr. Abotsi said the laws on homosexuality need interpretation to clear up the matter in the minds of the people.
Mr. Abotsi explained that while the lifestyle of those engaged in homosexuality does not contravene any of the laws of the land, the practice of anal sex is incongruous with the criminal code.
He observed that, “there is some degree of confusion and controversy” over the matter, which must be properly interpreted.
In a related development, lawyer and Member of Parliament for Bolga East, Dr. Dominic Ayine, supported Mr. Abotsi’s position.
According to Dr. Ayine, a proper interpretation by the courts will put the controversy to rest according to Article 35 of the Constitution, which demands that: ”The State shall actively promote the integration of the peoples of Ghana and prohibit discrimination and prejudice on the grounds of place of origin, circumstances of birth, ethnic origin, gender or religion, creed or other beliefs.”
Nana Oye-Lithur said she will not promote homosexuality but will protect the human rights of those engaged in the practise.