Parents express worry over DC Comics bisexual Superman character
Some Ghanaian parents have expressed concern over the announcement of a new bisexual Superman by DC Comics.
According to them, the introduction of the bisexual comic hero is a deliberate attempt to normalize same-sex relationships among children, a phenomenon gravely frowned upon by Ghanaian society.
“That is where the issue is. Do your thing in private but don’t force it down on us. We don’t want to know,” a parent posted on Facebook.
According to DC Comics, the new Superman, Jon Kent, will strike a friendship with budding journalist Jay Nakamura and they will share a kiss.
“Following a scene where Superman mentally and physically burns out from trying to save everyone that he can, Jay is there to care for the Man of Steel,” DC Comics said.
The storyline will feature in Son of Kal-El issue five, due to hit shelves on 9 November, the publisher said in a press release.
“Today, more people can see themselves in the most powerful superhero in comics,” said Tom Taylor, who writes the series.
While the new Superman is not the first LGBTQ comic book character, he is arguably the most recognizable.
But the new change has raised eyebrows in Ghana amidst a hot public debate concerning an anti-gay bill laid before parliament.
Below are some reactions on social media.
Debate over anti-gay bill
The bill which was first read in parliament on August 2, 2021, is spearheaded by eight legislators: 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 also supports the bill stating, “homosexuality is a deviant behaviour totally unacceptable in Islam. Although our religion allows us the latitude to ponder and reconsider some issues, homosexuality is certainly not one of them”.
The bill seeks to criminalize LGBTQI+ advocacy and its practice for at least five years.
However, an 18-member group campaigning against the bill’s passage argues that “the bill violates all the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution”, adding that 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 Monday (October 4).
Other members of the 18 member group are Professor Emerita Takyiwaaa Manuh, Communication Specialist, Professor Kwame Karikari, Professor Kofi Gyimah-Boadi, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo of the Department of Communication Studies, and Dean of the School of Information and Communication Studies, University of Ghana, Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin, Dr Yao Graham, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata and Professor H. Kwasi Prempeh of Centre of Democratic Development (CDD).