Merely Holding Up As LGBT Shouldn’t Be Criminal

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be treated as such in any civil society.

Publicly disclosing a personal sexual orientation is not the same as forcing another person to partake in it without consent or luring a minor into the same. Disclosure of sexuality should not be a crime.

This is one of the key points The New Publisher is advocating for as Ghana’s Parliament laces boots to pass into law new legislation that would criminalize LGBT activities in all its shades and forms.

The newspaper is of the view that sexual orientation is a matter of preference and should not be a bother to others who do not opine on that orientation.

The paper, in all honesty, is not oblivious to the mood of the country or at least the mood of a majority of its citizens on this matter of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights And Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 and the fact that there is anxiety on what EXACTLY the Bill seeks to cure or to prevent.

This anxiety is widespread and there is an overwhelming support for the Bill which is presumed to be fighting against the legalization of LGBT and specifically same-sex marriages.

That presumption is not a reality as reading the Bill clearly shows it rather seeks to criminalize homosexuality and specifically target and implosion gays, lesbians, their friends and even journalists who give them a voice.

Strategically, the actual implications of the Bill, when passed into law is not being communicated to the public.

It is not true that there are some persons in Parliament who are seeking a law to allow men to marry men in Ghana and therefore the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights And Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 is the cure to that attempt to make men marry men and women marry women.

The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights And Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 seeks to criminalize. There is no Bill whatsoever or any attempt by and Member of Parliament to legalize LGBT.

Ghana already has laws to protect persons who do not want to be gays or lesbians. The laws to protect underaged persons is in full force and working well.

Even the media, has not bothered to fully discuss the implications of the Bill on press freedoms. The fact that speaking in support of a person’s sexual preference can get one thrown into jail if his Bill is passed into law is not been discussed.

The extremely hostile environment strategically put in place to target ANY person who dare speaks against the Bill has not helped for a balanced dialogue on the subject matter. It has been largely an emotive debate and tagging of persons who dare profess a counter-opinion against the Bill.

For fear of being stigmatized, there is a hypocritical mutual acceptance even by persons who have a counter opinion.

The New Publisher has remained vocal on the fact that a media house’s published opinion on sexual preference does not in any way impose that opinion on another person. This aspect of the Bill is a clear direct threat to press freedoms and is unconstitutional. It amounts to media censorship. It suppresses press freedoms. It puts fear in journalists and forbids them from freely expressing their opinions for fear of being jailed.

The paper, aside from the concerns raised about press freedoms is equally concerned about the attempt to gag people from disclosing their sexual orientation.

It is unfortunate that the supposed institutions meant to protect press freedoms have coiled back for fear of being stigmatized. Self-preservation in the face of a clear plot to violate the rights of others is a direct form of endorsing the planned violation.

Even the political class is scared to speak against the dangerous aspects of the Bill for fear of losing the favour of their electorates.

What is even more curious is why the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, a human rights lawyer, has decided to make the world believe that the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights And Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 is being pushed by a few individual Parliamentarians.

Truth is the Bill is being pushed by Members of Parliament from both the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) including some he himself has appointed into Government.

By Halifax Ansah-Addo

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