It’s possible to allow LGBTQ+ rights but ban same-sex marriages – Prof Manuh explains

Fri, 15 Oct 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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• An opponent to the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill has explained why Ghana can enforce same-sex rights but ban same-sex marriage

• Prof Manuh says rights which include sex are private matters whereas marriage is a public affair, hence the imperative to regulate it

• She insists that the Bill was a massive intrusion into the private lives of people

Professor Emerita Takyiwaa Manuh, one of the 18 human rights defenders kicking against an anti-LGBTQ+ Bill before Parliament has explained what she says is a key point of confusion in the ongoing discourse relative to their position.

According to her, the issue of same-sex relations and same-sex marriage continues to be conflated to the extent that most people believe same-sex rights automatically include same-sex marriages.

She explained that whereas sex between two consenting adults was largely a private affair and for which reason the state must stay away from it, marriage is a public affair that is subject to a different set of standards.

“Because sex is recognized as intimately private, if you come and have it in public, then you violate the decency rule. Beyond this, there is very little public interest justification for criminalizing sex if you have consenting adults and they are doing something in private, it is not the business of anybody.

She continued: “Sex is different from marriage. Marriage is a public institution and it is regulated, sex is not. That is why adultery is a matter of morality, that is why however much we frown on it, it is not criminalized. Premarital sex beyond minors is also not criminalized.

“So we are saying that this bill is a massive intrusion into people’s lives, we are saying also that same sex is not equal to same marriage. Sex is a private affair and marriage is a public institution.

“So because of that you can deny people from getting married because you can come up with what it violates but you cannot tell two people what they can or cannot do in private,” she stressed.

She also spoke about how the state confers rights on human beings first and foremost and that those basic rights are what the coalition she belongs to is fighting to protect.

“The Constitution sets out general principles and is very clear on rights it attaches to people because they are humans not because of their sexual preference.

“The 1992 Constitution has set general principles, it doesn’t talk about heterosexuals, it doesn’t talk about homosexuals. It talks about people and that is what we want the debate to focus on. The fact is, lesbians, gays, they are Ghanaians. That is the fundamental thing. Not because they are gays or lesbians.”

She shared her views on state broadcaster, GTV’s Morning Show which aired on October 13, 2021. She shared the panel with lead promoter of the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill, Ningo Prampram MP, Sam Nartey George and former Attorney General, Ambassador Ayikoi Otoo. The two expressed views in support for the bill.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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