LGBT rights in Africa

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Campaigners call for gay rights vote in Ghana

Favour Nunoo

BBC Pidgin, Accra

A flyer in support of the referendum featuring campaigner Philcollins Agbedanu Kröger
Philcollins Agbedanu Kröger
Flyers in support of the referendum are being circulated on social media

Ghana's LGBTQ community is calling for a referendum on the rights of homosexuals in the country.

The group says they can prove there are more gay Ghanaians than thought but most are hiding due to fears of persecution and discrimination.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Ghana, and many religious groups and politicians are vehemently opposed to legalising it.

But speaking to BBC Pidgin, activist Philcollins Agbedanu Kröger accused the parliamentary speaker, Mike Oquaye, of not being “fair” in taking a dogged stance against gay rights.

“Gay and lesbian rights legalisation is not an individual issue, it should be debated in parliament and call for referendum so people can vote.”

The growing pressure from LGBTQ group follows comments by US Ambassador to Ghana Robert Jackson, who revealed Ghana is likely to legalise homosexuality within in a decade.

He said: “Statistics indicate that probably 10% of people are born gay.

"I think there are far more gays in Ghana than Ghanaians realise but because of societal pressure, societal attitude, they keep their sexuality private."

Campaigner Philcollins Agbedanu Kröger
Philcollins Agbedanu Kröger
Campaigner Philcollins Agbedanu Kröger is among those calling for a referendum

Anger after 'gay sex' medical tests in Ghana

Favour Nunoo

BBC Pidgin

Two men holding hands (archive shot)
Homosexual acts are illegal in many African states

Leading rights group Amnesty International has condemned Ghana's authorities for carrying out medical tests on the private parts of two male students accused of having sex with each other.

The tests amounted to “torture and degradation of their human dignity" in violation of Ghana's constitution, Amnesty's Ghana spokesman Robert Amoafo told BBC Pidgin.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Ghana, with religious groups and politicians such as the speaker of parliament opposed to legalising it.

The two, aged 18 and 23, were allegedly caught having sex when other students barged into their room at a private hostel at a university in Takoradi, the main city in Ghana's Western Region.

Regional police spokesperson Olivia Adiku confirmed to BBC Pidgin that medical tests had been carried out on the genitals of the two, as part of investigations into the incident.

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