Religious leaders oppose group calling for LGBTQ+ bill withdrawal

Religious leaders in the country have stated they will resist any attempt by any group of persons or organisations that will call for the withdrawal of the Lesbians Gays Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ+) bill, currently before Parliament.

They have therefore, called on the Government to resist any attempt to legalise the bill into law stating that it was an affront to Ghanaian cultural values.

This came at the heels of calls from a group made up of academics, lawyers, researchers and officials of civil society organisation, who claimed when the bill is passed it would infringe the fundamentalhuman rights of those involved in LGBTQ+ as enshrined in the 1992 constitution.

The group, made up of 18 members, is reported to have submitted a 30- page memorandumon the bill to Parliament.

They include Mr AkotoAmpaw, a lawyer, Professor Emerita TakyiwaaManuh, Professor Kwame Karikari, Professor Kofi Gyimah-Boadi, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin, Dr Yao Graham and Professor DzodziTsikata.

The rest are Professor H. KwasiPrempeh, Mr KwasiAduAmankwah, Dr Kojo Asante, Mr Kingsley Ofei-Nkansah, Mr AkunuDake, Mr TettehHormeku-Ajei, Professor Raymond Atuguba, Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby, Dr Joseph Asunka and Nana AmaAgyemang Asante.

The religious leaders in separate telephone interview with the Ghanaian Times, yesterday, expressed strong resentment against the advocacy for the withdrawal of the bill before Parliament.

The Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church Ghana, Most Reverend Dr Paul KwabenaBoafo, said the church was in support of the bill, explaining that when legalised it would affect Ghanaian Cultural family and cultural values as well as proper human sexual relation and procreation.

He said church leaders would today present a memorandum on the issue to Parliament.

Rev Boafo stressed the need to understand family values and procreation, as involving males and females and not otherwise the LGBTQ+ threatened the concept of family.

He said the bill, when passed, would affect Christian values too.

The President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, Most Reverend Philip Naameh,said the church wasin full support of the bill.

He said the group calling for its withdrawal did does not speak minds of Ghanaians.

Most Rev Naameh, who is also the Tamale Archbishop, said LGBTQ+would destroy the cultural values of the country, stating that no nation would have a future when it accepted such a practice.

He said LGBTQ+ was a negative practice and would not promote the future of any country.

The Spokesperson for the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, said the bill must be passed into law to protect family values, stating that ‘’it is sacred and must be protected’’.

‘’As a country we need to protect and fight against any group of persons who does not want the law,’’he added.

He said in Ghanaians embracing religion constituted about 90 percent of the population adding that when the LGBTQ+law got passed it would undermine family values.

Sheikh Shaibu urged the Government to position itself against the withdrawal of the bill.

The Muslim Community has described it as condemnable, reprehensible and a total rejection of any relationship that would contradict the divine order of marriage between a woman and a man

“Marriage by divine order is an important pillar in Islam which Allah has ordained and as such any other as form of a relationship should never be countenanced, Sheik Shaibu Spokesperson said.

He said it was against that background that the Muslim community wanted to called on such people who had attained such height in academia and law to have a second look at their intended action to block the bill.

“ShiekhShaibu said ‘’we are not talking about human rights here since it is riot every human right that can be right and not all rights are holding,”

The General Secretary of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Nana Yaw Kumi- Larbi stated that the Church was in support of the bill explaining that LGBTQ+ was alien to the Ghanaian culture.

He said they would resist any attempt by any group to suppress the passage of the bill into law.

Apostle Kumi-Larbistated that the clergy would openly campaign against Members of Parliament (MPS) who would oppose the bill.

The Minister in charge of Mount Zion Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Teshie, Rev Dr Kwaku EliasAsiama, said the LGBTQ should not be legalised in the country, because such a practice had negative implications for the society and people health.

He said biblically, such a practice is frowned against and so must not be accepted by Ghanaians adding that ‘’If God wanted man and man or woman and woman to marry would not have created Eve for Adam,’’ Rev Dr Asiama said

Sodom and Gomorrah practiced that and the wrath of God was vented on them and their city and inhabitants destroyed, Rev Asiamah said.

He mentioned that God gave human beings the freedom but spelt the anatomy of man and woman for co-existence.

Rev Dr Asiamastressed the need for more education on the issue and  psychological support to those already practising.

It would be recalled that eight Members Parliament have jointly submitted a private bill to push for the criminalisation of LGBTQI+ activities in the country.

The bill, which they term as a ‘Bill on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values’, was presented to Speaker, Alban Bagbin in June this year.

The proponents of the bill want the promotion, advocacy, funding, and acts of homosexuality to be criminalised in the country.

The Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram constituency, Sam George, led the MPs to make the presentation in Parliament.

BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI

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