Religion, International Human Rights Standards, and the Politicisation of Homosexuality in Ghana

  • Seth Tweneboah Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
Keywords: Ghana, Homosexuality, Human rights, Legislation, Law


Existing narratives on same-sex intimacies in Africa have largely shed light on the ways in which religion and custom serve as a limiting factor to the rights of same-sex partners. Less attention has been paid to the politicisation of homosexuality as well as the tensions and cooperation among the differing normative authorities in society. Using homosexual controversies in Ghana as a case in point, this paper interrogates the political valence of religious and customary notions of sexuality. I examine the religion-state relationship by showing how the State of Ghana relies on its domestic sources of plural legal orders and authorities to assert its sovereignty over external interventions. The paper rests on an analysis of the worth of ethnographic materials and existing literature to argue that religious and customary paradigms on marriage and sexuality provide avenues for contesting external political pressure and legal influence.