A retired diplomat in Ghana has urged his country to show tolerance towards its gay population.

K.B Asante, who served the country’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, told Ghana’s XYZ radio on Monday: “If two men want to live together, leave them alone. If two men live together, let them live together and the law does not say they shouldn’t”.

“If two men or two women are together and they have certain rights, we can pass a law to say when they die, one can inherit the other and so on, it is not the case at the moment”, he added.

However, Mr Asante dismissed any suggestions that Ghana should consider marriage rights for same-sex couples.

“…Marriage is between man and woman; gay marriage and all that is nonsense; absolute nonsense”.

Last week, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Dzifa AblaGomashie, called for greater tolerance of gay people – but she quickly tempered her remarks by adding: “We don’t use violence to solve a problem. We need to orientate homosexuals if we are not in favor of the act so that they can change for the better in a peaceful manner.

“Shunning and stigmatising them would be like relating to people living with HIV/AIDS who are complaining that they are being neglected.”

She also said: “We need not look down on people who are LGBTs – we need to rather show love to them in order to help change the abnormality.”

Same-sex sexual activity between men is illegal in Ghana with those found guilty facing up to 3 years in prison.

It is unclear in Ghanaian law whether same-sex sexual activity among females is illegal.