Let’s face it: The fact of the matter is that I have a far greater problem dealing with psychologically addled and alienated “Afropean” Ghanaians with outlandish names like Jerry John Rawlings, John Evans Mills, Kwesi Pratt and, of course, Paul Evans Aidoo – don’t mind this patent corruption of “Adu” – than I have with homosexual or gay/lesbian/transgender law-abiding Ghanaians. I have a deep-seated problem with Afropeans because the latter often tend not to be even aware of the fact that they are bona fide Ghanaians. Even more perniciously, these Afropeans are so mordantly afflicted with inferiority complex that they are much quicker than our erstwhile European colonial overlords to proscribe the most vital aspects of indigenous Ghanaian culture.
Not long ago, for example, President Mills was widely alleged to have issued an edict prohibiting the pouring of libation at all state functions. Needless to say, it takes a lot of moral self-doubt, to speak much less of clinical dementia, for the same personality to then entrust his government and, in effect, our beloved country at large, into the care of a remotely located “Eurocentric” Christian God.
Anyway, the recent call by the Western Regional Minister, Mr. Paul Evans Aidoo, for law-enforcement agents to summarily round up and prosecute any Ghanaians suspected of homosexual orientation ought to be vehemently condemned (See “Minister Orders Arrest of All Homosexuals” Peacefmonline.com 7/19/11). And on the latter score, we take this opportunity to call on the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission (as well as the UN Security Council) to promptly step into what may well become a pathological fit of national lunacy in Ghana before the country irretrievably falls over the proverbial precipice.
The minister’s call laughably reminds me of what Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had to tell his American audience during a guest-lecture at New York City’s Columbia University, when the former Tehran University engineering professor was confronted with the issue of the existence of homosexuality in his country. Predictably, Mr. Ahmadinejad riposted as follows: “I can confidently assure you all that there are absolutely no homosexuals in Iran; and if we happen to find any, we will make sure to kill them immediately.”
Naturally, the thunderous response of his audience was one that may aptly be characterized as a classical “Bronx Cheer,” to wit, a resounding boo.
The fact of the matter is that it unpardonably constitutes the height of absurdity for many a faux-moralist Ghanaian to insist on the supposedly “Non-Ghanaian-ness” of homosexual existence and culture. And some of my people may not like to hear this, but the practice of homosexuality, even as the Bible indicates, predates the Judeo-Christian religion. To be certain, it has existed for as long as human beings have been around. And even more significantly, we ought to bear in mind that it was heterosexual intercourse (between the mythical Adam and Eve) that brought about the epic fall of humanity.
Personally, I understand the dialogue between Eve and the Serpent – or Lucifer – in the Garden of Eden to be one of a patently adulterous affair; and it is the latter canker, which has destroyed more Ghanaian marriages and families that ought to be put on the front-burner of our national discourse on the illegitimate expression of human sexuality. But, of course, it is all-too-natural to expect no action on this most critical front in the offing. For, needless to say, the very sanctimonious figures in the vanguard of the anti-gay movement are also the most criminally guilty of home-wrecking adulterous affairs, including quite a remarkable percentage of “religious” leaders and powerful politicians.
Indeed, what makes the Western Regional Minister’s virtual, brutal and primitive declaration of open season on gay and lesbian Ghanaians immitigably criminal is the clearly outrageous call for law-enforcement agents to break into the private homes and apartments of these bona fide citizens who have done absolutely no harm against anybody and drag them before the judicial courts of the land. And on the latter score, may I humbly suggest a far more constructive use to which our already overstretched law-enforcement agents could be put? And it is simply that I would rather have our police personnel ferreting out those big-name and big-time hypocritical politicians who routinely rape and seduce underage young Ghanaian women and prematurely turn them into sex slaves and prostitutes!
Don’t get me wrong: Yours truly is not by this article calling for the rapturous glorification of homosexuality in a Bacchic manner, any more than I fain would be inclined towards the inordinate glorification of heterosexual intercourse. The fact of the matter is that sexuality is a viscerally instinctive physiological urge, which over the evolutionary course of the centuries has been ritually tamed and domesticated for responsible and purposeful mutual gratification. And one basic aspect of the latter is, of course, the fact that sex is a primarily private and/or indoor expression of pleasure, even among the most pathological fornicators and adulterers.
What needs to be equally highlighted is the fact that Ghana’s democratic dispensation specifically provides for the protection of all of its citizens, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, creed and, of course, sexual orientation. Thus, any criminally misguided attempt by any Ghanaian leader to summarily proscribe the inviolable right of any citizen to a peaceable existence, on the prejudicial basis of any of the foregoing elements of human identity, must be fiercely resisted, even at the risk of civic pandemonium.
Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI) and author of “Dr. J. B. Danquah: Architect of Modern Ghana” (iUniverse.com, 2005).