Some 15 professionals in various fields including law and academia have submitted a memo to Parliament to kick against the anti-LGBTQI+ bill.
To them, the proponents of the bill have not provided any data or evidence to suggest that there is such a threat, beyond a resort to some dogmatic religious tenets and so-called Ghanaian family values, hence want the bill rejected.
They include; Lead Counsel for President Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2020 election petition hearing, Akoto Ampaw, Professor Kofi Gyimah-Boadi, Dr Rose Kutin-Mensah, and the Executive Director of Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Professor H. Kwasi Prempeh.
Others are Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, Professor Kwame KariKari, Professor Raymond Atuguba, and Dr Yao Graham.
The rest are: Professsor Dzodzi Tsikata, Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, Kofi Ofei-Nkansah, Dr Kojo Asante, Akunu Dake, Tetteh Homerku-Adjjei and Professor Emerita Takyiwaa Manuh.
The private members’ bill, which is in the pipeline is proposing a 10-year jail term for offenders, including promoters of any sexuality that falls within the LGBTQI+ spectrum other than between a man and a woman.
The legislators promoting the bill, on June 29, 2021, submitted a copy of the draft to the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin.
It among other things says people of the same sex who engage in sexual intercourse are “liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than seven hundred and fifty penalty units and not more than five thousand penalty units, or to a term of imprisonment of not less than three years and not more than five years or both.”
It covers any person who “holds out as a lesbian, a gay, a transgender, a transsexual, a queer, a pansexual, an ally, a non-binary or any other sexual or gender identity that is contrary to the binary categories of male and female.”
But in the view of these 15 individuals, the bill is an “impermissible invasion of the inviolability of human dignity, adding railroading the bill through would mean challenging Ghana’s 1992 Constitution.
“Christ’s message was/is that we should love our neighbour and not be judgmental and promote the hate and bigotry that many self-styled Christians exhibit and seek to impose on Ghanaian society.
“Per Article 18 of the Constitution, Ghana is a secular democracy and not a theocratic Christian or Islamic Republic or an African traditional monarchy or chiefdom,” part of an 18-paged memorandum read.
Meanwhile, they have cautioned the recipient of the memo, the Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs against creating a “society where the state, through legislation, imposes one view of ‘proper human sexual rights’.”
Read the full document below: