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Saturday, December 4, 2021

We will not rest until LGBTQI+ Bill is passed

Emmanuel Barrigah, General Secretary Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic CouncilEmmanuel Barrigah, General Secretary Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council

Emmanuel Barrigah, General Secretary Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), says the Council will continue to fight for the passage of the Bill for the promotion of proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values, which has been laid before Parliament.

This comes after some Christian clerics led by the Chairman of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, presented a memorandum to the constitutional, legal and parliamentary affairs committee expressing their support towards the passage of the 36-page bill anti-LGBTQI+ Bill before parliament.

The bill, which is yet to be considered by parliament, seeks to unequivocally criminalize LGBTQI+ activities.

According to the bill, people of the same sex who engage in sexual intercourse are “liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than seven hundred and fifty penalty units and not more than five thousand penalty units, or to a term of imprisonment of not less than three years and not more than five years or both.”

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The bill also proposes that a person who, by use of media, technological platform, technological account or any other means, produces, procures, markets, broadcasts, disseminates, publishes or distributes material for purposes of promoting an activity prohibited under the Bill, or a person uses an electronic device, the Internet service, a film, or any other device capable of electronic storage or transmission to produce, procure, market, broadcast, disseminate, publishes or distribute materials for purposes of promoting an activity prohibited under the Bill, commits an offense and is liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than ten years.”

Additionally, it suggests that persons who engage in any activity that “promotes, supports sympathy for or a change of public opinion towards an act prohibited under the Bill” be held liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years or not more than ten years.

Speaking to the host of Kaakyire Ofori Ayim, Emmanuel Barrigah, Genaral Secretary Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC), explained that all religions including Christianity, Islam and Traditional religion do not subscribe to the practice of homosexuality.

“They have added Pansexual to the alphabets which means one can get married to a loaf of bread, a tree and the like if they so wish. My child informed me that it was in the news that a man has gotten married to his rice cooker. How is that possible? We will ensure that this bill is passed,”

Meanwhile, a group of Professors and human rights activists have opposed the bill, describing it as undemocratic.

The group says the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, when passed into law, would erode a raft of fundamental human rights, as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution.

The group who are against the passage of the bill include Mr Akoto Ampaw; author, scholar and former Director of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Prof. Emerita Takyiwaa Manuh; a communications and media expert, Prof. Kwame Karikari; the Dean of the University of Ghana (Legon) School of Law, Prof. Raymond Atuguba, and a former Dean of the University of Ghana School of Information and Communication Studies, Prof. Audrey Gadzekpo.

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