‘Produce evidence of violence against LGBTQI+ community’



Francis-Xavier Sosu, the Member of Parliament for the Madina Constituency, has challenged proponents of same sex relationship rights to produce data to support their claim that gay people are being victimised in the country. 

The first term lawmaker who is a human rights lawyer said he was yet to chance on any data which suggests violence against gays and lesbians in Ghana and that reference to such non-existent data only weakened the advocacy for persons in same sex relationships. 

He threw this challenge in Accra yesterday when the Interfaith Diversity Network for West Africa (IDNWA) alleged violence against LGBTQI+ people at the public hearing of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021. 

According to the Executive Director of IDNWA, Davies Mac-Iyala, violence against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Queer, Intersex (LGBTQI+) people had been on the ascendancy especially since the bill was introduced in Parliament. 

But Mr Sosu said: “The honest truth is that I have been participating in the human right space in Ghana for some time now and I have been looking for this data but I have not found any.

“So anytime we talk about violence against the LGBTQI+ community, I’m like where is the data because I really want to see the evidence.” 

Mr Sosu said such data could only help the committee and players in the human rights space in their work on the bill and urged proponents of gay rights to assist them with such data. 

Meanwhile, non-governmental organisation, Key Watch Ghana, has appealed to Parliament to expunge some aspects of the bill. 

In their view, portions of the bill criminalises Intersex activities.

Director of Key Watch Ghana, Shone Adjei, told the committee that forcing intersex people, especially children, to undergo surgery as the bill proposes could affect the psychology of those kids as they grow.

Mr Adjei posited that conditions of intersex people was biological and not sexual and that thebill should not be used to alter their natural being. 

He wants such children to be made to pass puberty for “the child to know exactly where he or she belongs and determine if he or she is comfortable at the level of being treated or can live with it.”

Mr Adjei said the United Nations backed the claim that surgeries conducted on intersex children should be delayed as long as possible.

“So we see that it is a defilement of children and forces unnecessary treatment that contravenes several articles on the rights of a child. It must be thrown out immediately. The attempt by this bill to criminalise advocacy and free speech and association must be stopped and condemned.”

“We must also ensure that surgeries conducted on infants born intersex are stopped. Intersex surgeries are seen as cosmetic instead of medicinal and recent data supports this finding,” he said.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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