Anti-gay laws do not offend Ghana’s Constitution – Godfred Dame

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The Minister-designate for Justice and Attorney- General, Godfred Yeboah Dame has raised concerns on the need for the country to have a free society but with respect for customs and tradition.

There have been controversies over the incidence of homosexuality in Ghana and human rights activists as well as pro-gay groups have called for its legalisation.

But speaking to GhanaWeb, Godfred Dame said there is nothing wrong with Ghana respecting its customs and traditions.

“The provisions of the Criminal Offences Act does not offend the Constitution at all and there are cultural rights recognized by the Constitution.”

He added that “it is only when the laws are applied in a way discriminatory to a particular group of people, that you can assert unconstitutionality.

“I take the view that the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of James Kwabena Bomfeh and the Attorney General on the National Cathedral itself is an affirmation of the fact that even though there are a multiplicity of religions in the country, any decision by a President to promote a particular religion is not discriminatory.

“In the same way, any practice of a people which seeks to promote its customs and values cannot be deemed to be discriminatory and for that matter, the section of the Criminal Code is not discriminatory at all,” he explained to GhanaWeb.

Mr Dame further noted that a free society should equally not lose sight of its customs and values.

“I think what is required is a free society that will not necessarily victimize persons but that should not be misconstrued to mean that the state cannot put in place certain laws which protect its customs and traditions of the people.”

In 2017, Godfred Dame was appointed Deputy Attorney-General and Deputy Minister for Justice of Ghana. In that position, he handled various high-profile cases against the Government and international arbitration involving the Government of Ghana.

He transformed the image of the Attorney-General’s Office into a formidable force.

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