Ghanaian Church Leaders and Government Oppose Gay Rights

News from Ghana:

The activities and operations of a group calling itself the gay and lesbian association of Ghana, coupled with their intention to play host to an international conference in Ghana, has met fierce condemnation and opposition from the Christian community.

At a press conference in Accra yesterday to state its position on the raging controversy, Right Reverend Dr. Paul Fynn, Chairman of the all-powerful council, condemned in no uncertain terms the activities and operations of the gays and lesbians.

…According to him, the fact that the constitution of the country guaranteed freedom of association, movement, speech, expression and worship did not mean it should provide the license and authority for people to misbehave and satanise the country, as that of the infamous Sodom and Gomorrah incident in the bible.

…For him, homosexuality, lesbianism, occultism and the raging cocaine issues that have beset this nation within the last couple of months are all signs of the bad seed sown by the devil amongst us; hence the need to uproot such acts without further delay.

(Fynn could also add “unionised workplaces” to his list of satanic influences: when he’s not running the council, or presiding as a Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Ghana, Fynn runs a fried chicken franchise; last year he was condemned by the Food and Allied Workers Union for “a strategy to frustrate trade union activities in the company by the systematic and arbitrary dismissal of workers”.)

Apostle Dr. Michael Ntumy, who could not fathom any kind of justification for such ungodly practices, said, “Homosexuality is an offence against God”, quoting Leviticus 20:13 in the Holy Scriptures, “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death”.

Ntumy is a leader in the World Pentecostal Council. He squared off against the gay and lesbian association on the radio recently:

Over a week ago, the president of the gays and lesbians association of Ghana, one Prince MacDonalds, came under immense attack from Ghanaians when he stormed the studious [sic] of Joy FM, an Accra-based private radio station, to justify their activities.

In fact, Prince MacDonald (not “MacDonalds”) appeared on a panel at the station, rather than “storming” the building. An earlier report explains (but gets his name even more wrong):

On Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, several such Ghanaians including the man of God with nine lives [a reference to a recent murder attempt – RB], Apostle Dr. Michael Ntumy, Chairman of the Church of Pentecost Worldwide, added their voices to the condemnation of the theory and practice of homosexuality and lesbianism.

Mr. Prince Madonna [sic!], President of the Gay and Lesbian Association of Ghana, met with stiff opposition from the teeming Christian population who appeared to be shocked at his outburst.

Madonna appeared as a panelist on the live programme alongside Edmund Foli, a Human Rights lawyer of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, and another fellow of the University of Cape Coast to discuss this controversial topic.

MacDonald caused particular upset by referring to his own Christian faith. He also, according to another report, claimed that homosexuality was far from unknown in the country:

As their number in the country keeps swelling, the president of Gay and Lesbian Association of Ghana has revealed that the association has currently been registering members including some who are in senior secondary school or have just left school.

Already, there are some top men and women in society, people with diverse professions including politicians flirting with the gay fraternity, he disclosed.

“We have the majority of gay men in Accra. During some of the small programmes we organise, we get about 400 to 500 gays attending and when we have big programmes we get thousands of people coming from other regions,” Prince McDonald, the president of the association told Joy FM – a local radio station in Accra on Thursday.

He noted: “There are a lot of people with this orientation when you move all over Ghana. When you go to Kumasi there is a large population, when you go to Sunyani, when you go to Techiman, in the North, in the Central, there are whole lot of young men and old men, young women and old women who are engaged in same sex attraction.”

MacDonald planned to hold a conference which would put pressure on the government to change the criminal law against male homosexuality. The government responded swiftly, as the BBC reported:

Ghana’s government has banned a conference for gay men and lesbians due to take place there later this month.

Information Minister Kwamena Bartels said as homosexuality was illegal in Ghana the gathering was not permitted.

“Government does not condone any such activity which violently offends the culture, morality and heritage of the entire people of Ghana,” he said.

…Mr Bartels urged the interior minister to investigate and punish those who had given initial permission to the organisers.

This follows a similar development in Nigeria, after the activities of a gay Anglican activist group were reported in the US press. The government responded by banning the “staging of Gay Rallies and Associations of whatever kind”, as I blogged here.

UPDATE: Direland has more – including the interesting detail that the proposed conference was actually a hoax.