By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network
NEW YORK (IDN) — A sweeping draft bill framed in the guise of “family values” has put a bullseye on Ghana’s LGBTQ community, proposing some of the harshest anti-LGBTQ laws on the African continent.
The bill gives LGBTQ members 2 options: Jail time or conversion therapy—practice which aims to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It has been condemned by more than 60 associations of doctors, psychologists and counsellors worldwide.
The proposed legislation has even violated some tenets of the Anglican Church, observed the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who questioned the morality of pushing the country’s LGBTQ into the shadows.
The Anglican Communion, he said, made a commitment “to assure [LGBTQ+ people] that they are loved by God and that all baptized, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.”
If enacted, he said, the bill would violate the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution I:10, and the rights of every person, regardless of sexual orientation, before the law.
On numerous occasions, he added, the primates of the Anglican Communion have stated their opposition to the criminalization of same-sex attracted people: most recently, and unanimously, in the communiqué of the 2016 Primates’ Meeting.
“I remind our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church of Ghana of these commitments,” he said.
In an interview with CNN, one gay activist said sorrowfully: “I can’t change the way I am. This is natural, and it is how I feel. But we are all dead now. We can’t go out again and we can’t mingle with our friends again.”
A Human Rights Watch report from 2018 found that Ghana had a mixed record in its treatment of LGBTQ Ghanaians.
Old sodomy laws dating back to 1960 remain on the statute books in Ghana—as they do across much of Africa—but they are rarely, if ever, enforced.
“We are a global family of churches,” the Archbishop was quoted to say, “but the mission of the church is the same in every culture and country: to demonstrate, through its actions and words, God’s offer of unconditional love to every human being through Jesus Christ.” [IDN-InDepthNews – 01 November 2021]
Photo: A group of pro-gay marchers in Ghana, dressed in bright clothing holding signs and rainbow flags. Source: GCN.
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