The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) says it is in full support of the new private members’ bill that seeks to explicitly criminalize LGBTQI activities in the country.
According to the council, the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill which has been presented to Parliament for passage into law is a step in the right direction.
In a statement, the group indicated that it will not hesitate to give backing “to the consultative processes leading to its fine-tuning and passage into law in Parliament”.
It argued that its position on this new bill stems from its long-standing and consistent biblical position on the preservation of God’s original plan for marriage, procreation and the preservation of the family value system and any attempt to pervert this system would be fiercely resisted through all spiritual, physical and legal means.
The Bill, which is being sponsored by eight MPs, is the first major step Ghana has taken to clearly criminalise LGBTQ people.
The legislation, titled ‘The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021’, will among other things ensure jail terms for some LGBTQ activities.
To this end, GPCC said, “we are by this statement reiterating our support to members and leadership of the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament and our courageous MPs promoting the drafting, laying, and passage of the Bill into the law.”
Groups and individuals who advocate for the rights of LGBTQ people or offer support also face sanctions under the law.
The Bill has sparked outrage from human rights activists and persons sympathetic to LGBTQ people, but a significant number of Ghanaians have welcomed the proposed legislation.
NDC Member of Parliament for Ho West, Emmanuel Bedzrah, says he expects President Akufo-Addo to assent to the Anti-LGBTQ Bill when the time comes.
He said over 90 percent of legislators in Parliament were in support of the Bill that has courted controversy and outrage since it was leaked last week.
“You will see the overwhelming support when it comes to the debate on the floor, and I can assure you that the President will have no other choice but to assent,” Mr. Bedzrah said.
But the co-founder of the Centre for Democratic Development, CDD-Ghana, Prof. Gyimah-Boadi, says he hoped the Bill, which he described as homophobic, is made to just “rot away.”
“I can only express the hope that should this Bill pass through Parliament, the President withholds assent to it. I can only hope,” he said.
He had also described the private members’ Bill as “a complete waste of a very important instrument for promoting democratic governance.”