Akufo-Addo and legalising LGBTQI– Minister’s claim false

In an interview on Citi Tv’s Face to Face show on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, the Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Stephen Asamoah Boateng, was quizzed on a number of issues bordering on chieftaincy and religion in Ghana.

During the show, the interviewer, Umaru Sanda Amadu, asked the minister how he planned to work in President Akufo-Addo’s government, given that the president had stated that the legalization of homosexual rights in Ghana was “bound to happen,” while the minister had previously stated during his vetting that he did not support such rights.

Mr Boateng in response claimed that President Akufo-Addo did not say that the legalisation of homosexual rights was bound to happen in Ghana.

 Fact-Check Ghana has verified the claim and presents the details below.

Claim: “Umaru, you’ve picked just one aspect, and even that one is out of context. He is a lawyer, and if you look at that interview, I think it was a BBC interview and he recounted history. How things have moved in life [sic]… He was expressing a view but he didn’t say it was bound to happen.”

Explanation: In 2018, President Akufo-Addo was interviewed by Al Jazeera on some topical national issues. In his response to why homosexuality is still illegal in Ghana, he said:

“This is a socio-cultural issue if you like. I don’t believe that in Ghana so far, a sufficiently strong coalition has emerged which is having to guard impact on public opinion that will say change it. Let’s then have a new paradigm in Ghana…. I think that it is something that is bound to happen… Like elsewhere in the world, the activities of individuals, of groups. I grew up in England, I went to school as a young boy in England and I grew up at a time in England when homosexuality was banned there. It was illegal and I lived in a period when British politicians thought it was anathema even to think about changing the law and then suddenly the activities of individuals, of groups, a certain awareness, a certain development grew and grew and grew stronger and it forced a change in the law. I believe that those are the same processes that will bring about changes in our situation. At the moment I don’t feel and I don’t see that in Ghana there is that strong current of opinion that is saying this is something we need you to deal with.”

From the above, it’s clear that the president did state that the legalisation of homosexual rights was bound to happen in Ghana contrary to the Minister’s claim. The minister’s claim is therefore false.


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