In a recent gathering with Ghanaian religious leaders, former President of Ghana and key opposition leader, John Dramani Mahama, articulated his stance against LGBTQ practices, linking his viewpoint to his Christian beliefs. Mahama’s comments, as reported by Reuters, emphasize his personal and religious convictions against same-sex marriages. He unequivocally stated, “The faith I have will not allow me to accept a man marrying a man, and a woman marrying a woman.”
Mahama also shared his views on gender identity, expressing his doubts about the validity of gender transition based on personal feelings. He remarked,
“I don’t believe that anybody can get up and say I feel like a man although I was born a woman and so I will change and become a man.”
Escalating Debate on LGBTQ Rights in Ghana
The discourse around LGBTQ rights is gaining momentum in Ghana, especially with the nation’s lawmakers currently evaluating a contentious anti-LGBTQ bill. This proposed legislation aims to enforce strict penalties on individuals within the LGBTQ community. Key features of the bill include a ban on Ghanaians identifying as LGBTQ, an increase in the maximum penalty for homosexual acts from three to five years, and a prohibition on the advocacy of LGBTQ rights.
The current legal framework in Ghana already criminalizes homosexual relations, subjecting offenders to up to three years in prison. The introduction of the anti-LGBTQ bill has ignited significant debate and concern across various sectors of Ghanaian society.
Mahama’s Political Journey and Future Aspirations
John Dramani Mahama, who led Ghana from 2012 until 2017, faced defeat in his attempt for a second term during the 2016 elections, losing to the now incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo. At the age of 65, Mahama is gearing up for another presidential run in the forthcoming December elections, representing the National Democratic Congress as the primary opposition candidate.