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Ghana’s approach to LGBTQI wrong - Charlotte Osei

Thu, 19 Aug 2021 Source: peacefmonline.com

Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei, the former chair of the Electoral Commission, has said that Ghana’s approach to addressing issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) preference is wrong.

Her comment comes a few weeks after the anti-gay bill was introduced in Parliament. The bill would impose a maximum ten-year prison sentence on people who support and advocate same-sex and gay rights.

Individuals and groups would also not be allowed to provide social or medical support to LGBTQ+ people.

“When you legislate sin, it is very difficult. It is something that a group believes is a sin,” Osei told the Accra-based Joy FM.

“To legislate sin, you are not changing the person, you are legislating against the action. And in doing that, depending on the approach you take, you even make the person feel ‘you are not good enough, you are not part of us’. That bothers me.”

She added: “As a Christian, we are told [sic] to hate the sin and love the sinner. So I may not like the whole thing about homosexuality … but as a Christian, God charges, the Holy Spirit convicts, my duty as a Christian is to preach the Word and pray. None of us are saints.”

Role of churches

The former EC boss, who doubles as a legal practitioner, wants religious bodies, especially the churches, to extend an invitation to LGBTQI to help them feel part of society.

“I would have loved to see churches reaching out to them, encouraging them to come and worship, come let’s pray together.

“Doing that does not mean that you are endorsing the sin, it means you are loving the sinner and you are hating the sin. But it must be an all-embracing approach. And I think that is what I would love to see at all levels of governance,” Osei said.

Background

Known as the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, the anti-gay bill was read for the first time in Parliament on 3 August 2021. It has since been referred to the committee on constitutional, legal, and parliamentary affairs for consideration and report.

The 36-page private member’s bill aims to provide for proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values, proscribe LGBTQ+ and related activities, propaganda for, advocacy, or promotion of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and related activities.

It will prohibit a person from providing or participating in any form of surgical services to enable gender reassignment or create a sexual category other than the category a person was assigned at birth, except where the surgical procedure is to correct a biological anomaly, including intersex.

Those who contravene or undermine this provision are liable, on summary conviction, to a term of imprisonment of not less than three years and not more than five years or both.

Moreover, the bill proscribes promotion and advocacy activities directed at children. Thus, any person who uses the media and other electronic channels to produce, procure, market, broadcast, publish or distribute material or information directly or indirectly directed at a child, with intent to evoke the interest of children in an activity, could face a jail term of not less than six years and not more than ten.

The bill seeks beside to provide accused individuals with access to medical help or treatment and prohibit extrajudicial or inhumane treatment of persons accused of offenses under the bill.

Source: peacefmonline.com
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