Ghana opposition head expresses anti-LGBTQ stance ahead of elections

Thursday February 01 2024

Ghana's leading opposition leader John Dramani Mahama (R) is seen on arrival for the international mediation on Gambia election conflict in Banjul, Gambia December 13, 2016. PHOTO | REUTERS


Ghana's former president and leading opposition presidential candidate John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday expressed his opposition to LGBTQ+ rights but did not say if he would support a bill aimed at criminalising same-sex relations.

The main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), voted last year to retain Mahama as its leader for the 2024 presidential election.

During a meeting with members of the clergy in Eastern Ghana, the former president said gay marriage and being transgender were against his Christian beliefs.

Read: Mauritius repeals colonial-era law against LGBT

"The faith I have will not allow me to accept a man marrying a man, and a woman marrying a woman," Mahama said while responding to a church leader's call against LGBTQ+ people.

"I don't believe that anybody can get up and say I feel like a man although I was born a woman and so I will change and become a man," he added.


Mahama, however, did not say whether he would sign the bill that would criminalise same-sex relations, being transgender and advocating LGBTQ rights, should he win December elections.

Lawmakers in the West African nation have been debating the Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values bill since August 2021.

Passing the bill would further reduce freedoms in a country where gay sex is already punishable with up to three years in jail, critics and activists say.