General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has provided clarity on the position of his party regarding the practice of homosexuality in Ghana and whether or not it should be accepted.
He said the NPP’s tradition abhors such practice hence, the governing party will not endorse Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, & Intersex Life (LGBTQI+).
Addressing the Eastern Regional delegates of the party on Saturday October 17, he said “For us NPP, we are a Centre-Right political party, our values are clear, we believe in the family system, we believe in chieftaincy, we believe in proper customs practices, we believe in freedoms, we believe in protection of human rights.
“So don’t ask us whether we accept LGBTQI or not, we are not supposed to be asked that question. The right people to ask that question are NDC members on their party because they are a Centre-Left political party. Centre-Left political parties throughout the world, in the US it is when they come to power that they promote such practice. So let (NPP) not bother ourselves to talk about this. We shall not condone this practice and we will not accept this practice.”
The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill was laid in the House on Monday, August 2 and read for the first time.
Reading for the first time, a clerk in the legislative assembly stated that the Bill proscribes lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) and other related activities and propaganda or advocacy and promotion for same.
It also came to light that it supports protection for children and persons who are victims or accused of homosexuality.
Second Deputy Speaker Andrew Asiamah Amoako referred the Bill to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Committee for consideration.
“For the first time, it is referred to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for consideration and report,” Mr Asiamah Amoako, who is also the MP for Fomena, directed.
The controversial bill has already divided opinion in the Ghanaian public discourse.
While some, particularly the religious and traditional groupings, have supported the Bill and hopeful of its passing, others say it could incur the wrath of the international community against Ghana.
A private legal practitioner Mr Akoto Ampaw said the way and manner the anti-gay bill has been designed indicates the extremism of the mind frame that produced it.
He is totally against the bill and wants it abandoned.
“The fact that the bill goes to that extent of criminalizing somebody who is an intersex or criminalizing somebody who is asexual, this is a meaningless project, shows the extremism of the mind frame that produced that bill,” he said on TV3’s Key Points with Dzifa Bampoh on Saturday October 9.
He further said the current debate on homosexuals in Ghana is not about religious beliefs or numbers.
“First of all, I want to make the point clear that this debate is not about religious beliefs.
“Secondly, this debate is not about numbers. It is not lining up how many people support gays -30million, how many people are against gay – 2million, that is not the issue.
“The fundamental issue has to do with our constitution and rights .That is the basic issue that we have to address.”
He added “It is a bit gratifying that just recently the Majority leader in Parliament said that the matter will not be discussed on the basis of religious beliefs. I think that is a major step forward if that is how parliament is going to address this matter. It is a constitutional matter.”
His comments were after religious bodies including the Ghana Catholic Bishop Conference said that they wanted homosexuality to be illegal in Ghana.
The Bishops described the practice as abomination on the basis of scriptures in the Holy Bible.
“As a Church, we want this abominable practice made illegal in our country… The Bible, which is foundational to Christian beliefs and practices, condemns the practice,”
“Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder…
“The Church rejects the unfounded and demeaning assumption that the sexual behaviour of homosexual persons is always and very compulsive and, therefore, they should not be blamed for their homosexual acts,” a statement they issued said.
It added “Nevertheless, according to the Church’s understanding of human rights, the rights of homosexuals as persons do not include the right of a man to marry a man or of a woman to marry a woman. For the Church, this is morally wrong and goes against God’s purpose for marriage. We should also point out that the European Court for Human Rights has ruled that same-sex “marriages” are not considered a human right, making it clear that homosexual partnerships do not in fact equal marriages between a man and a woman. The ruling was announced 9th June 2016 in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.”