Law and sexuality: comparative analysis of legal treatment of queer people in Canada and Ghana – the quest for human rights justice for queer minorities in Ghana
Asebi Boakye, Dennis
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This paper is a work of scholarship and advocacy. The author’s goal is to participate in the movement in Ghana towards the decriminalization of advocating for queer rights in Ghana. The author analyzes and compares the relationship between law and sexuality in Ghana as compared with Canada. In particular, the research identifies a number of fundamental principles, distinctive of Canadian human rights and equality rights jurisprudence, which bear importing into, or emphasizing in, the Ghanaian legal system. The paper argues that everyone has the right to enjoy basic human rights regardless of their gender, race and/or sexual orientation. This is a proposition deriving from Canadian principles of rights jurisprudence that establish that there is no hierarchy of human rights and that no rights are absolute. These are key approaches to balancing the rights claims of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer people (LGBTQ+) with often conflicting rights grounded in religion-based claims. As a result, the study will discuss ways in which the Ghanaian legal system can balance religious-cultural rights, on the one hand, and human rights and equality rights based on sexual orientation, on the other, by adopting queer advocacy strategies, and following principles of Canadian jurisprudence about these often-competing rights claims. In doing so, this work contests the obvious discrimination and violence against LGBTQ+ people in Ghana by promoting greater human rights for queer people in Ghana notwithstanding the long-established social and cultural primacy of religion in Ghana’s history.