Authors: Osman Wumpini Shamrock ,Gamji Rabiu Abu-Ba’are, Henry Dakpui,
Edem Yaw Zigah, Gideon Adjaka, Natalie Marie Leblanc, Amina Alio, LaRon Nelson


Publication date: April 05, 2024

Journal: Impact of Sexual Orientation

Description: Purpose

In Ghana, research shows that gay, bisexual, and other cis-gender men who have sex with men (GBMSM) experience significant criminalization and stigma from individuals in almost every facet of society [1–3]. Hence, they choose to live a closeted lifestyle by utilizing exceptional discretion and past experiences [4–7]. Currently, Ghanaian law criminalizes same-sex penetrative behavior [8, 9]. The vagueness of the law on sexuality in the country makes its application inconsistent, resulting in exceptional sexual discretion by enforcement agencies [10, 11].The language used in Ghanaian criminal law contains ambiguity, leading many individuals and law enforcement agents to self-interpret and determine how to apply it to LGBTQI + people  [8]. The term “unnatural carnal knowledge” used in the Ghanaian Criminal Code Amendment Act, 2003, does not explicitly mention LGBTQI+; however, it has served to justify the criminal attacks and stigma on members of the groups [8, 12, 13]. According to Atuguba (2019), the law on “unnatural carnal knowledge,” which indicates an unusual form of penetration uncommon in Ghanaian societies, does not extend to sexual desires or expressions. Persons identifying with the LGBTQI + community and not seen engaging in sexual activity involving penetration do not commit offenses connected to the Criminal Code Amendment Act 2003.

 Scholar articles: Shamrock et al. BMC Public Health Community stigma, victimization, and coping strategies among gay, bisexual, and other cis-gender men who have sex with men in slum communities in Ghana. BSGH-003  (2024) 24:966 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-024-18242-1

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