Ghana to legislate against LGBTQI+ activities – Bagbin
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has disclosed that efforts are underway to stop all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) activities in the country.
According to the Speaker, as a matter of urgency, steps are being taken to streamline the law on such activities and make the country’s position on it definite.
He has indicated that, a Bill was in the offing to see to such clarification.
Mr Bagbin disclosed this in a response to a letter from a political activist who had petitioned Parliament to amend Ghana’s laws to deal with the phenomenon in the country.
“I appreciate very much your concerns about activities of the LGBTQI+ groups in the country. It is indeed a phenomenon that should not be encouraged or accepted by our society due to its eventual negative impact on society,” the Speaker said.
He then noted that, “Urgent actions are being taken to pass a law to eventually nip the activities of these groups in the bud.”
To this end, stakeholder consultations are ongoing, and the results would feed into a Bill that would eventually be passed into law by Parliament.
The Speaker’s letter sighted by The Ghana Report is dated June 15, 2021.
In February this year, the activities of LGBTQI+ have sparked controversy in the country, with religious leaders and some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), calling for to disband of their activities.
However, there were others who also called for its legalization.
Stating his position on the matter, the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said that he would allow same-sex marriage to be legalised in Ghana.
“I have said this before, let me in conclusion stress again, that it will not be under the presidency of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo that same-sex marriage will be legal, that same-sex marriage will be legalised in Ghana, it will never happen in my time as President.”
“Let me repeat, it will never happen in my time as President,” President Akufo-Addo emphasised.
Those were the words of the President when he spoke at the installation of the second Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Ghana at Asante Mampong in the Ashanti Region in February, this year.
There were also concerns that the LGBTQI+, which was gradually gaining grounds in the country, could be pushing financial aid to the country in an attempt to regularize their activities.
Responding to this, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta said, such a thing would not occur.
He stated that the government would not accept any foreign aid with the condition of legalising LGBTQI + activities in the country.
“I think our sociology and our traditions are the most important enduring legacy that we have. So we will make decisions that suit our Ghanaian purpose so that we can develop in the way we want to develop,” he said.
It would be recalled that earlier this year, the police raided and closed down an opened office of a pro-LGBTQI+ group at Ashongman in Accra.
The five-bedroom flat, which was housing the group, was opened on Sunday, January 31, 2021 with a fundraising ceremony.
This was attended by some diplomats including the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Gregory Andrews and his partner Rachael.
The Dannish Ambassador to Ghana, Tom Nørring and his wife, Bridgit, as well as officials of the European Union (EU) in Ghana were also present.
This quickly greeted with stiff opposition from anti-LGBQTI stakeholders who called on the government to resist any attempt by the group to lawfully operate in Ghana since the laws of the country frowned on it.