Current Affairs

LGBT Ghanaians are struggling to eat and find shelter due to a Colonial-era law

Jasmine Andersson January 8, 2018
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Lesbian, bi and gay people are being left starving and destitute as “second class citizens” in Ghana, a devastating report has revealed.

Suspected LGBT people in the country are unable to get jobs, find themselves exiled from their families and struggle to make ends meet in the fight to survive, a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) says.

And in a bid to repeal the law that destroys the lives and livelihoods of LGBT people in the country, HRW interviewed LGBT struggling across the country to find a place to call home.

“We can’t ever go home again,” said a lesbian to the human rights publication, who was staying in a hotel in the city of Kumasi.

At the time of the interview, she hadn’t eaten for three days and had travelled for two hours to meet the publication’s reporter to share her plight.

After her girlfriend mentioned their relationship in public, she was arrested, kicked off her local football team and rejected by her family – and she is one victim of many.

A total of 114 LGBT people were interviewed and had suffered violence at the hands of mobs and even by their own family members when their sexuality was revealed.

Under a Colonial era law, same-sex activity is illegal, and widely condemned in the nation, leaving LGBT unable to support themselves.

According to the country’s Criminal Offences Act, “unnatural carnal knowledge” is banned, which is defined as “penile penetration of anything other than a vagina.”

More: Africa, colonial law, Ghana, human rights, LGBT rights Africa

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