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Anti-LGBTQ+ bill: 'UN does not determine what is medical treatment in Ghana' – Sam George tells BBC

Wed, 27 Oct 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

• Sam George says there is no mention of conversion therapy in the anti-LGBTQ+ bill

• He says the corrective measures recommended in the bill have been approved by experts

• He says the bill is a reflection of views of Ghanaians


Sam Nartey George, the lead proponent for the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021 has rejected accusations that the corrective mechanisms recommended by the bill for persons who are gays, lesbians, homosexuals, etc. constitute conversion therapy which is frowned upon by the United Nations.

Sam George told the BBC’s Claire McDonald in an interview that aired on October 26, 2021, that the bill does not mention conversion therapy and does not subscribe to what has been outlawed by the UN.

He stated the bill is a reflection of the opinions and feelings of the majority of Ghanaians as well as the values and norms of the Ghanaian society.

Sam George reiterated that Ghana as a sovereign state will not allow itself to be dictated to by the UN or any other organization on matters that has to do with its values as a state.

“UN has not said approved medical treatment is torture, you are saying so. UN does not determine what is medical treatment in Ghana. Ghana has its own laws. The UN has not made homosexuality a human right. The UN has not had any vote on it.

“In fact. the Ghanaian government has had occasions to say to the LGBTQ community that if you want a vote on that, table it at the UN Assembly and let's have a vote on it and then we’ll be guided by it but to come through to the window and say the UN has banned conversion therapy, nowhere in our bill did we mention of conversion therapy,” he said.

Discussions on the Private Member's Bill submitted by some eight MPs commenced on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, when Parliament resumed sitting.

Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, outlined a number of issues around the bill and assured Ghanaians that the values and beliefs of the society will be protected by the bill.

“In fact, it has assumed some different dimensions. For me, this is healthy for a maturing democracy like Ghana. It is important we allow various shapes of opinions to canvass their position on the bill. As Ghanaians, I want to plead that we accommodate the views of others on whatever perception they have and let’s maintain the peace that we have.

“It is a law that will take into consideration the richness of common sense, human decency, morality, fact and logic. At the end of the day it will be a law that will transform this country into something else,” he stated during his opening remarks as Parliament reconvened on Tuesday.



Background

The 38-page bill before parliament, among other things, stipulates that, 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.”

The Bill targets persons who “hold out as a lesbian, a gay, a transgender, a transsexual, a queer, a pansexual, an ally, a non-binary or any other sexual or gender identity that is contrary to the binary categories of male and female.”

The Bill also targets promoters and advocates of LGBTQ+ rights including “a person who, by use of media, technological platform, technological account or any other means, produces, procures, markets, broadcasts, disseminates, publishes or distributes a 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 a material for purposes of promoting an activity prohibited under the Bill” as well as a person who “promotes, supports sympathy for or a change of public opinion towards an act prohibited under the Bill.”

As part of its provisions, the Bill outlines that a flouter can be sentenced to a jail term of not less than six years or not more than ten years imprisonment. At the back of the public support the Bill has received, a group of academicians and other professionals have expressed their opposition to the bill.

According to the group of 18, the bill, ‘Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values’, when passed into law, would erode a raft of fundamental human rights, as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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