Debating Homosexuality in Ghana

Since I wrote about homosexuality for my class blog Social Theory Blog last year, the Ghanaian blogosphere has been quiet on the topic ( I believe except for a weeklong theme at AntiRhythm some time ago). Homosexual acts are forbidden by law in Ghana and there has been very little public debate that would suggest Ghanaians in general would like to change the status quo.

Therefore, I was happy to see that Ghana’s most famous blogger Ato KD last week made his point clear in the post “Let them be gay”. The post was written in response to the news of a NGO regestering 8000 gays in Ghana and the Ghanaian Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) getting involved… Ato’s post was put rather bluntly, but the essence of it was (this is likely also the only passage without reference to sexual organs…)

Much as I don’t understand why people become gay, I also don’t understand all the hatred being spewed on people in this country who have chosen to be gay.

The next day he followed up with a post on why it doesn’t make sense that Christians are condemning gay people.

I believe that it is wholly un-Christian for any believer to jump on a moral high horse and proclaim homosexuals as the scum of the earth who deserve to be exterminated and condemned to eternal damnation. Using scripture to fuel hatred and discrimination is the most despicable thing to do. I have no doubt in my mind that there will be some homosexuals in heaven but there will be a lot more heterosexuals burning with me in hell.

Fellow blogger Graham was inspired by Ato KD and laid out “The 8 dumbest arguments against honsexuality in Ghana” and concluded:

Ironically the loudest voices on homosexuality come from those opposed to it. They claim “gayists” are lobbying for special rights yet where are the voices of homosexuals in Ghana? They want us to believe they are secretly calling for special rights and converting more people to their “cause” resulting in the breakdown of society.

Ghana’s future depends on rational thinking and the challenging of mob mentality.

Holli, a Canadian woman living in Ghana since many years, has some time ago written a summary of the situation with many interesting links here. She also provides the legal background:

Under Ghanaian law, male homosexual activity is officially illegal. Criminal Code 1960 – Chapter 6, Sexual Offences Article 105 mentions unnatural carnal knowledge – and homosexuality is included in this description.

Coming from a liberal standpoint, I feel odd about living in a country where homosexuality between consenting adults is illegal (although female homosexuality seems to be allowed?) and hope that the above blogposts are just a start of a wider debate. I believe the Ghanaian blogosphere can begin to discuss this Ghanaian taboo, but also examine the arguments against homosexuality – and the advantages of legalization – and maybe even challenge the status quo.

What do you think?

Pic borrowed from Ghanaweb.

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Art and Politics in Accra

Yesterday evening I went to two delicious events (the other one  I’ll elaborate on in my next post *suspense!*).

The evening started at Passions Bar in Osu, where an event called Art and Politics was hosted by Mantse Aryeequaye, a Ghanaian film director focused presently on music videos and Sionne Neely, academic from University of Southern California.

The evening went from definitions of “art” and “politics” to how they are connected through discussions on beauty, colonialism and mis-education. We discussed if art is the mother of politics or if the relation was more complex…We also saw some music videos like Kanye West’s Power (Ego or Excellent?), M.I.A.’s Born Free (utterly disturbing or a reflection of life?) and a new video by Mantse himself for Kwau Kese – so fresh I cannot find it online – (escapism or bloody reality?). The videos were interesting, especially from a teaching perspective, but the discussion could have gone on for hours without them. There is so much to say about art and politics. Especially in Ghana.

The audience/contributors was amazing and diverse, some famous faces present were Gyedu Blay Ambolley, Ato Kawmina Dadzie, Osabutey AnnyKobby Graham (the latter wrote a post on the Art and Politics event here) and many others!

Thanks to the organizers for a unusual and thought-provoking event!

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Welcome to My New Blog!

Finally! Today I am moving (or should I say “launching”?) my new blog on wordpress and introducing you, my dear reader, to a new blogging concept. You will recognize much from Rain in Africa (I have imported all the posts, the headings of imported posts are marked “>”), but in this space I’d like to expand and give you

-More personal stories (on Me , myself and I)
-More work related stories (teaching and PhD/ migration research)
-More critical stories
-More international stories
-More of my favorite reads, links and resources.

To underline that the new blog is more personal, I’ve decided to “do an AtoKD” and simply give my new blog my name plus initials = Kajsa H.A. resulting in the web address (please bookmark it and change eventual links!)

Thanks for reading my blog and I’d love to read your comments on my new blog!

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