On current LGBTQI + controversies – Disagreement with the pro-advocacy group


The memo submitted by the group of 18 lawyers, academics and other professionals on the Ghanaian Human Sexual Rights and Family Values ​​Bill 2021 currently before Parliament continues to generate controversy and mixed reactions.

Members of the pro LGBTQI + advocacy coalition led by Mr. Akoto Ampaw make the following arguments to oppose the bill.

First, they argue that the bill violates the fundamental rights of LGBTQI + people as enshrined in the Ghanaian Constitution of 1992.

For them, the bill is an unnecessary intrusion into the lives of Ghanaian citizens who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, homosexual and intersex.

Second, they postulate that Ghana is a secular state and therefore the use of religion as the basis for the bill is both flawed and disturbing as it is in direct conflict with Ghana’s secular status.

According to them, too, religions should not preach hatred or discrimination against people, but rather God’s love, mercy and compassion for all.

Third, the group argues that the bill is aimed at a minority group in the country.

Mr. Akoto Ampaw, in particular, asserts that “the 97% of Ghanaians cannot legislate for the 3%, for fear that the Constitution has its place”.

Disagreement

I do not agree with the position of the pro-LGBTQI + advocacy group on the bill for the following reasons.

First, regarding human rights, many lawyers refer to Law 29 of the Criminal Offenses Acts 1960, Section 104, to argue that anyone involved in unnatural carnal relationships with another person should be punished.

Furthermore, I maintain that the Charter of the United Nations of 1945 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 clearly state the basic human rights in the world.

These are the right to life, health care, education, water, shelter, clothing, food, etc. They do not contain LGBTQI + rights.

In addition, the 1976 International Convention on Economic and Social Rights, as well as the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, do not mention LGBTQI + rights either. In June 2010, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) also ruled that homosexuality is not a human right.

Beyond that, I maintain that law is not nonsense, and every law has limits. On this basis, I argue that the government of each country has the right to restrict the exercise of rights if it considers that the conduct of certain “private” citizens’ affairs may have negative repercussions on the individuals themselves, their families. families and the general public. company.

This is the case of LGBTQI + in Ghana.

Secular?

Second, the argument that Ghana is a secular state and therefore religion should not be used to support the proposed bill is overstated.

The provisions relating to fundamental human rights and freedoms of chapter five of our Constitution, Articles 5 (2), 17 (2, 3), 21 (1c) and 35 (5) state that as a State Secular, Ghana must not promote or sponsor any religion, but must allow all citizens to practice the religion of their choice without discrimination. He does not define Ghana as an ungodly state.

The recent 2021 census indicates that Muslims and Christians represent 17.6% and 72% of the Ghanaian population respectively, with the remainder belonging to the traditional African religion or not affiliated with it.

This clearly shows that by culture and custom, Ghana is a religious country despite its secular definition.

Therefore, as the Chief Imam rightly states, “Ghana is a secular state with a deep sense of God expressed succinctly in a number of our national symbols, including the national anthem, commitment national, oath of office, introduction to the Constitution of Ghana. himself… ”(Ghanaweb, October 16, 2021).

Furthermore, the additional argument that religions should preach love, not hate, is theologically simplistic. The love of God is not simply permissive; he corrects wrongs in human beings and in society (John 8:11).

Third, regarding the argument that a certain minority is targeted, I argue that the bill does not target any minority but is necessary to maintain the cultural, religious and moral sensitivities of Ghanaians.

Risks

Finally, with health experts warning of the effects of LGBTQI + activities, which include a high risk of HIV, severe mental and psychological illnesses, and anorectal cancers, it is becoming urgent that these risky sexual behaviors be brought under control so that ‘they do not affect the general population. .

For all of the above reasons, I do not agree with the position of the Pro-LGBTQI + Advocacy Group and I affirm that LGBTQ + are not rights but “deviant” sexual behavior against which we must legislate to protect and safeguard the proven cultural, religious and moral values ​​of our country. beliefs and practices.

The writer is a Catholic priest

About Michael S. Montanez

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