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Is sexual preference a human right issue?

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Mon, 28 Aug 2023 Source: Jonathan Mensah

Human rights are an essential part of a fully functioning democracy. They work with democratic processes to improve their flaws to help us work towards a free, fair, compassionate, and inclusive society. The globalisation of the state and the potential for greater levels of communication, facilitated by the rapid spread of information technology, has encouraged the belief that the prospects for protecting human rights, particularly in less developed countries, have never been better.

The assumption is that the democratic state acts in the interests of particular national or global groups. The impressive body of international law on human rights generated by the United Nations has stimulated extensive debate in a wide range of national and international forums. This has kept the idea of human rights at the center of global politics and engaged the interest of a growing number of non-governmental organisations devoted to securing justice and the protection of human rights throughout the world.

This article aims to bring sufficient awareness of the events in Ghana which have profound implications to help Ghanaians make an informed decision about it. Most of the problems besetting and dragging Ghana backward are the people failing to accept the truth and reality.

Misguided debate on anti-LGBTQ+ is causing tension in the country. The title of the bill is Promoting proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values.

People who argue against this bill have been accused of ignoring Ghanaian customary values and importing Gays into the country. It takes character and courage to refuse to conform to the anti-gay momentum. It also takes wisdom and discernment to disentangle the issues. Between the lines of the rhetoric being formulated to usher the bill is that 93% of Ghanaians are against gay people and support the anti-LGBTQ + bill.

The number of reasons being promoted to favour the bill is that gay people are Americans. The bill is of cultural values and not a religious bill. The member of parliament for Ningo Prampram argued that “sexual preference “is not a human rights issue. When we are told that sexual preference is not a human rights issue, we need to seriously question how honest this is.

Human rights are basic rights and freedoms that belong to everyone in the world from birth until death. They apply regardless of where you are from, what your belief is, or how you choose to live your life. They can never be taken away, although they can sometimes be restricted, for example, if a person breaks the law or in the interest of national security. These basic rights are based on shared values like dignity, fairness, equality, respect, and independence. These values are defined and protected by law.

The International Bill of Human Rights is a powerful statement of the rights of all human beings. There are responsibilities placed on states to respect, protect, and fulfill those rights. Violations occur when a government fails in its obligations to respect, protect, and fulfill these rights. Often a violation of one of these rights is linked to a violation of others

By becoming parties to international treaties, states assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights. The obligation to respect means that states must refrain from interfering with or curtailing the enjoyment of human rights. The obligation to protect means that states must protect individuals and groups against human rights abuses. The obligation to fulfill means that states must take positive action to facilitate the enjoyment of basic human rights.

Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 was the first attempt to set out at a global level shared by all human beings. It is therefore appropriate to note that sexual preference is how some people choose to live their lives and as such a human rights issue. It is a violation of human rights if the state fails to observe the act.

In religion, those of us with faith in God also engage in folly and foolishness, which in essence is disobedience to God. The apostle Peter often acted out of his flesh instead of first asking God what he should do. He cut off the ear of the soldier arresting Jesus Christ (John 18:10). He even denied Jesus Christ three times (Mark 14:39-51). Another time, Peter advised Jesus Christ that no harm would ever come to Him and he would make sure of it (Matthew 16:22).

However, Jesus Christ advised Peter saying, "You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns (Matthew 16:13). This is the foundational question we need to ask ourselves when discerning if someone is being foolish or wise; does the person’s actions or speech further God’s plans or try to stop them? In other words, do their actions or speech line up with the character of God? Christians must know that Christ died for all of us making each of us of infinite value. But when one thinks that one is more important than the other person for whom Christ also died, we have crossed the line into arrogance and pride.

The term Promotion of proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values is misleading because promotion is an activity that supports or encourages a cause, venture, or aim. Could political power ever make you believe a logical contradiction? Promotion should be persuasive and informative to the target audience and not compulsion with the force of the law. Human sexual rights refer to specific norms that emerge when existing human rights are applied to sexuality. These rights include freedom, equality, privacy, autonomy, integrity, and dignity of all people.

Family values are the moral and ethical principles traditionally upheld and passed on within a family, such as fidelity, honesty, truth, and faith. Family values are learned from parents and experience. This raises the question of why the anti-LGBTQ bill has been introduced and how will it benefit the people.

The reality is that the proponents of this bill have cognitive distortion of magnification and minimisation. This means magnifying things that are not important and minimising things that are truly significant.

The fact that they don’t recognise that the general population has not been asked whether they support the bill or not by having a referendum speaks volumes.

Columnist: Jonathan Mensah