Two female resident students of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) have been kicked out of the university’s hostel for allegedly engaging in “threesome sexual activity” with a non-resident student as well as “lesbianism”.
According to the school, the said females fondled each other during their sexual escapade and engaged in some form of lesbianism which violates the school’s code of conduct for students.
“Engaging in acts of lesbianism is contrary to Section 1.28.11(g) of the Student Handbook of the University of Professional Studies, Accra; 2018 and Schedule G 8.3 (23) of the Statute of the University.
“They have since been dismissed from UPSA Hostel awaiting further sanctions from Management,” a notice indicated.
The authorities said the directive is to serve as a deterrent to all resident students who may want to engage in such acts.
The school also cautioned resident students to avoid harbouring “perchers” and accommodating visitors beyond 10 pm.
“Desist from sexual misconduct and observe all other rules and regulations in the Hostel as well as the Student Handbook. Any student caught infringing any of the regulations will not be spared,” the management warned in the notice dated November 23.
Generally, tertiary institutions have a student handbook that clearly spells out what students are permitted to do and what they cannot do.
Sexual activities are frowned upon and attract severe sanctions even though students could be above the age of consent.
The incident is occurring at a time of heated debate over an anti-LGBTQI+ Bill that has been laid before parliament.
What does the handbook of UPSA say?
The UPSA student handbook states that sexual misconduct such as rape, and other sexual offences, will result in severe sanctions from the university as well as possible criminal prosecution since the offence is criminal.
The categories listed under this section include:
- Forcing someone to have sexual intercourse, engaging in other sexual acts such as oral or anal intercourse and genital penetration.
- Sexual contact without full and free consent given by the person (including situations where drugs or alcohol impair a person’s ability to give full and free consent).
- Sexual contact when the perpetrator knows or should know the behaviour is offensive to the person.
- Sexual contact when the other person is less than the statutory age of consent.
Discussions about LGBTQ+ activities or rights in Ghana touch on sensitive chords: culture and religion.
The arguments are primarily on the belief that LGBTQI+ identities are alien to the country’s cultural norms and values and are also frowned upon by all major religious groups in Ghana.
The bill which was first read in parliament on August 2, 2021, is spearheaded by eight legislators: MP for Ningo-Prampram Sam George, Ho West MP Emmanuel Bedzrah, MP for Kpando Della Adjoa Sowah, and John Ntim Fordjour, the MP for Assin South.
The Christian Council of Ghana – an umbrella body of Christian churches in Ghana – has declared its support to the bill. “The council wishes to state unequivocally that it supports the bill and prays that it will see the light today… Let us protect the good family system that we have inherited from our forebears,” it said in an official statement.
The Office of the National Chief Imam also supports the bill stating, “homosexuality is a deviant behavior totally unacceptable in Islam. Although our religion allows us the latitude to ponder and reconsider some issues, homosexuality is certainly not one of them”.
The bill seeks to criminalize LGBTQI+ advocacy and its practice for at least five years.
However, an 18-member group campaigning against the bill’s passage argues that “the bill violates all the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution”, adding that when passed into law, it would send Ghana to the dark ages of lawlessness.
“The bill violates virtually all the key fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the constitution, namely the right to freedom of speech and expression, the right to assemble, freedom of association and the right to organize, the right to freedom from discrimination and the right to human dignity,” leader of the group, Lawyer Akoto Ampaw said at a press conference on Monday (October 4).
Other members of the 18 member group are Professor Emerita Takyiwaaa Manuh, Communication Specialist, Professor Kwame Karikari, Professor Kofi Gyimah-Boadi, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo of the Department of Communication Studies, and Dean of the School of Information and Communication Studies, University of Ghana, Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin, Dr. Yao Graham, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata and Professor H. Kwasi Prempeh of Centre of Democratic Development (CDD).