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General News of Monday, 26 July 2021


Withdraw dangerous, embarrassing anti-LGBTQ+ bill – Humanist Association

The eight MP's pushing for the LGBTQ+ bill The eight MP's pushing for the LGBTQ+ bill

The Humanist Association of Ghana have asked for the withdrawal of the bill seeking to criminalise LGBTQ+ and its advocacy in the country.

The private members’ bill is being championed by eight members of parliament, namely;

Sam George (MP, Ningo-Prampram)

Della Sowah (MP, Kpando)

Emmanuel Bedzrah (MP, Ho West)

John Ntim Fordjour (MP, Assin South)

Alhassan Suhuyini (MP, Tamale North)

Rita Sowah (MP, La Dadekotopon)

Helen Ntoso (MP, Krachi West)

Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor (MP, South Dayi)

The 36-page document is to ensure proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values; proscribe LGBTQ+ and related activities; proscribe propaganda of, advocacy for or promotion of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and related activities; provide for the protection of and support for children, persons who are victims or accused of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and related activities.

Among other things, the bill 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.”

Reacting to the content of the bill on 'Talk of the Nation' on Class91.3FM on Monday, July 26, 2021, Organising Secretary of The Humanist Association of Ghana Angela Adatsi said the bill is an embarrassment to the country and a danger to free speech.

She told show host Ewura Adams Karim that “some few days after I read the bill, I was in shock and I needed few days to actually sit down and gather my thoughts about the whole bill because it is embarrassing.

“The entire bill is absolutely embarrassing that I feel embarrassed for the politician or MPs whose names are under that bill…the amount of embarrassment these lawmakers have brought to the country, I was in shock because not only does this bill criminalise advocacy or all members of the LGBT but even against heterosexuals as well, you can’t even use sex toys when you’re having sex, it even criminalises free speech which is a problem if you’re trying to build a democracy. This is a serious embarrassment for our country and for our democracy as well.”

She noted that as humanists, they have a responsibility to support the LGBT community and ensure that “we advocate for them so that their plight will be heard. So as an ally, I feel threatened. This bill seeks to criminalise all effort by allies to support members of the community to actually talk and educate the public so this bill is really dangerous in every aspect and every capacity”.

Asked if the humanists will make any input into the bill for consideration, Ms Adatsi said: “I think the bill should be thrown outright, I don’t see any part of the bill that could be amended that could help the LGBT community in anyway. In essence, I don’t even see why we need a law to criminalise LGBT activities. I don’t see why we need a law that polices two consenting adults and what they do in their bedroom so I don’t see the need for any law.”

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