The managing editor at the Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt, has taken a swipe at Ghanaians and the 8 legislatures championing the anti-gay bill in Parliament.
According to him, Ghana is a secular state hence it’s wrong for any person to enact laws on a religious basis.
“You can be a Christian but it doesn’t mean that every Ghanaian must be a Christian and work with Christian values because the constitution says Ghana is a secular therefore, you cannot enact laws on a religious basis’ he said on Peace FM on the morning of Monday, October 11.
The Majority Leader in Parliament, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has also made a similar appeal.
“I will rather focus on the Ghanaian culture because the Constitution does not say that our justice emanates from the Bible or the Quran” he argued at the end of last week.
The anti-gay bill which was first read in parliament on August 2, 2021, is spearheaded by eight legislators including 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.
Discussions about LGBTQ+ rights in Ghana touch on sensitive chords: culture and religion. Crusaders behind the bill base their arguments on the belief that LGBTQI+ activities are alien to the country’s cultural norms and values, and are also frowned upon by all major religious groups in Ghana.
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 is also in support of the bill.
“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.” part of a statement from the office read.
The bill seeks to criminalize LGBTQI+ advocacy and its identification for at least five years.
An 18-member group campaigning against the passage of the bill however argues that “the bill violates all the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution,” adding 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 October 4.