As much as 80 percent of LGBT people sampled in Ghana are opposing legalization of consensual same sex marriages.
This is primarily due to the fear of being abused and stigmatized when same sex marriages are legalized.
It is one of the major findings of a research which focused on violence and discrimination against the LGBT community in Ghana.
The research was conducted by LGBT rights NGO Solace Initiative and the Alliance for Equality and Diversity.
Out of 516 respondents from all regions of the country, 79 percent saw sexual and gender based violence as a major problem. Each person has suffered an average of 3 abuses namely physical, sexual or emotional abuse over the past 12 months.
But majority of them representing 68 percent of those sampled will not report the violence to the mandatory institutions especially the police. This is largely due to stigma, discrimination and fear of being exposed.
The study revealed that while LGBT persons in Ghana are not seen as vulnerable, they suffer high levels of violence and discrimination.
It recommends a stronger collaboration between LGBT – led organizations, the Police and the Human Rights Commission to protect the rights of all regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Executive Director of Solace Initiative Wisdom Bebli said the study provided scientific data for planning and advocacy.
“Getting scientific data on the violence suffered by the LGBT community is difficult. It is challenging to measure progress with scattered or no data. The findings are important for program planning, policy and advocacy” he said.
Country Director for Amnesty International Robert Akoto Amoafo said there is the need to enhance reporting of sexual and gender based violence for proper redress of cases.