Retired Ghana judge asks court to disregard homosexuality as a human rights issue

Retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Yaonansu Kpegah

A Ghanaian newspaper, the Daily Graphic, has reported that a retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Yaonansu Kpegah, has filed an application asking the Ghana Supreme Court to disregard homosexuality as a human rights issue.

According to the report, “He is further praying the highest court of the land to declare that under the country’s customary law, which is an integral part of the laws of Ghana, acts of homosexuality are an abomination and, indeed, a taboo and are unacceptable as a natural and normal way of life in any decent society.”

Other parties to the suit are the Attorney-General and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).

Justice Kpegah is seeking an order directed at the IGP to investigate a recently published story of a gay marriage which allegedly took place in the twin western Ghana cities of Sekondi /Takoradi.

The report said that the retired judge was also praying the court to ensure that all those found culpable in the Sekondi/Takoradi area, together with their accomplices to be processed and the docket referred to the Attorney-General for advice and subsequent prosecution.

According to him, on a true and proper interpretation of the relevant provision of the 1992 Constitution, the practice of homosexuality could never be said to be part of human rights issues in Ghana.

He is seeking a further a declaration that the Republic of Ghana is not subject to the authority or dictates of any state in the absence of any agreement, protocol or convention.

Retired Justice Yaonansu Kpegah contends that as a matter of jurisprudence, it would be out of place for anyone to argue for the expansion of human rights to cover homosexuality on the rather poor argument that times had changed and individual rights needed to be expanded.

He said that the argument that the state should expand the parameters of fundamental human rights to include homosexual rights was most unfortunate and a very obnoxious submission to make.

According to the retired judge, such an argument implied that a state could legislate to change an animal into a human being and endow it with divine rights.

He argues that in Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence, which is applicable throughout the British Commonwealth and the USA, one could hardly argue that homosexuality was the fundamental right of a human being.

A date is yet to be fixed for the hearing of the writ, which was filed on March 26, 2012.

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