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Ghana’s Speaker to resign if lawmakers introduce bill on homosexuality

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Aaron Mike Oquaye

The Ghanaian Parliament’s Speaker Aaron Mike Oquaye has threatened to resign if lawmakers introduce a bill to legalize homosexuality in the country.

Oquaye, and academician and cleric, said his stance was because of his Christian faith that does not recognize same-sex marriages.

“If anybody should bring such a thing to parliament and I have to preside over that I will rather resign than subscribe to this delusion,” the Speaker said in an interview with Metro TV.

Currently, there are no plans in the West African country to introduce such a bill, but activists have been pressuring MPs to consider it.

UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, recently urged Commonwealth nations including Ghana to overhaul “outdated” anti-gay laws and said the UK “deeply regrets” its role in the legacy of violence and discrimination.

There are 53 countries in the Commonwealth and most of them are former British colonies.

Out of those, 37 have laws that criminalise homosexuality.

Most African countries have in the past rejected the idea of legalizing homosexuality.

In 2017 for instance, 40 men in Nigeria were arrested during one weekend for performing homosexual acts.

Also last year, Tanzania threatened to arrest and expel activists, as well as deregister all non-governmental organisations that campaign for gay rights.

In neighbouring Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta has on more than one occasion rejected the calls to legalize homosexuality, saying that it goes against cultural beliefs of majority of Kenyans.

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