Akufo-Addo might not succumb to Anti-gay pressure

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Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo, finds himself at a crossroads, as the nation grapples with the recent passage of the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, colloquially known as the anti-gay bill.

While, the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) lauds the bill’s approval, urging the President to sign it into law, a prominent member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, hints at potential consequences.

The GPCC, expressed gratitude for the bill’s passage, urging President Akufo-Addo, to assent to the bill to become law to punish those who take part in LGBTQ sexual acts, as well as those who promote the rights of gay, lesbian, or other non-conventional sexual or gender identities with time in prison.

But Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, formerly the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute (DI), has given the clearest inclination the President might assent to anti-LGBTQ+ Bill into law as doing so, will come with consequences.

In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), Mr Otchere-Darko expressed his concerns about the enactment of what he termed a “harsher anti-LGBTQ Bill” and highlighted the possible implications.

He called for education from the media and politicians, to inform citizens about the advantages and disadvantages of the Bill if it becomes law.

On Friday, March 1, 2024, the GPCC issued a statement signed by Apostle Immanuel N. O Tetteh, General Secretary, GPCC also lauded the private sponsors and supporters, noting: “They have supported the passage of this Bill through the arduous journey spanning almost three (3) years.”

The legislation, which criminalizes and prohibits LGBT activities, was approved on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, sparking criticism from various quarters, including prominent figures like Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, the Board Chair of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), and the United States ambassador.

However, GPCC, in a statement commended the private sponsors of the bill, the Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, and all others who contributed to its success.

GPCC, acknowledged the efforts of the Members of Parliament and the Attorney General’s office for their contributions and critiques, which enriched the content of the bill.

They also recognized the efforts of the Right Honourable Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, for his commitment to ensuring the bill’s passage.

They emphasized the importance of upholding Ghana’s unique cultural and family values and urged the President to give assent to the bill to complete the process of making it law in the country.

As a Faith-Based Organization, the GPCC thanked everyone who contributed to the passage of the bill and expressed their solidarity with other religious bodies in celebrating this achievement.

They believe that the bill will help to uphold the values that are important to the people of Ghana.

Parliament on February 28, 2024, passed the bill that outlaws LGBTQ+ activities, including their promotion, advocacy, and funding.

Individuals found guilty could be sentenced to imprisonment ranging from 6 months to 3 years, while those who promote and sponsor the act could face a prison term between 3 to 5 years.

Gabby, urged individuals who believe that the Bill is constitutionally incorrect to seek legal redress.

“Ghana’s parliament, in which is vested the sovereign will of the people, has democratically passed a harsher anti-LGBTQ Bill. Yes, democratically! IThethreat of being unseated for standing for the rights of gays, etc, certainly created its own culture of silence in the House! But, it is the decision of Parliament and one which enjoys huge popular support in the country. The world must understand that.

“But, Ghanaians must also understand that it comes with consequences. Choices have consequences. We expect the media and the politicians to be fair to the people by letting them know the pros and cons of this decision to impose stiffer penalties against gays, etc. We also expect those who believe the bill is constitutionally wrong to do what is right and go to court.”

Mr Otchere-Darko, encouraged Ghanaians to trust in the country’s democracy, emphasizing the importance of citizens respecting Ghana’s cultural norms.

“That is democracy! Our institutions of democracy are still strong and alive. Let’s have faith in our democracy. Let’s respect the choices we make and their consequences and believe in the process. Ghana remains a sovereign state, with cultural norms that cannot be wished away but must be respected.

“I still believe, though, that we can balance our traditional family values with our traditional values of tolerance and diversity. That’s the Ghanaian way. The Ghanaian culture. The Ghanaian spirit. Our history. Our DNA. That is Ghanaian.”

In a series of tweets, “Values should not be premised on hypocrisy. That is, I suspect, ungodly. The biggest threat to family values in our society is caused by side chicks and side dudes. They break homes and family values cannot survive in broken homes. But, our MPs don’t care. Do they?” he questioned.


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