Ghana’s president Nana Akufo-Addo vows to never legalise marriage equality

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Nana Akufo-Addo, president of Ghana. (KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty)

Amid a blistering international outcry over the country’s treatment of LGBT+ citizens, Ghana‘s president has vowed to never legalise marriage equality in a devastating but expected blow.

In breaking his days-long silence, Nana Akufo-Addo sought to stress that queer rights will not budge an inch anytime soon under his four-year presidency, Africa News reported.

Speaking at the opening of the second Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Ghana at Asante Mampong in the Ashanti region on Saturday (27 February), Akufo-Addo repeated the words he’s said time and time before.

“I have said this before, let me in conclusion stress again,” the New Patriotic Party leader said, “that it will not be under the presidency of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that same-sex marriage will be legal, that same-sex marriage will be legalized in Ghana, it will never happen in my time as President.

“Let me repeat, it will never happen in my time as President.”

After one of Ghana’s few LGBT+ rights group opened a new office and community safe space it became a target for conservative backlash, signalling the depth of anger felt towards queer Ghanaians.

The office, which received the backing from European Union officials, has become a pinched battleground between a fledgeling queer rights group and a small but powerful cadre of religious conservatives.

So-called “family values” organisers have urged law enforcement to arrest its members – they came close after an unlawful police raid earlier this week.

National security officers stormed the building and forcibly closes the premises. Now leaders of LGBT+ Rights Ghana fear for their safety

In Ghana, homosexuality is illegal and anti-LGBT+ sentiment is common, spouted by lawmakers and religious leaders and codified by its colonial-era laws.

Queer residents have escaped being burned alive by vigilantes, robbed, abused and blackmailed by Grindr catfishers and the country’s chief imam has blamed the coronavirus on “transgender and lesbianism” and called LGBT+ people “demonic“.

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