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CDD urges parliament to reject anti-LGBTQI+ Bill: 'It threatens our democracy'

The Ghana Center for Democratic Governance (CDD) has reiterated its firm stance against the proposed Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, 2021, also known as the Anti-LGBTQI Bill, currently awaiting passage in Parliament.

CDD urges parliament to reject anti-LGBTQI Bill: 'It threatens the foundation of our democracy'

In a press conference held on Tuesday, February 27, CDD reiterated its opposition to the bill, highlighting key reasons why it should not become law.

Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, the Vice-Chair and governing board member of CDD who spoke on behalf of the "Big 18" and Human Rights Coalition, addressed journalists, emphasizing the need to uphold fundamental human rights enshrined in Ghana's 1992 Constitution. She expressed concern that the bill, if passed, would violate various constitutional rights, including dignity, freedom of speech, association, procession, academic freedom, equality, and nondiscrimination.

"We observe with great concern the proposal to pass the Anti-LGBTQI Bill, which infringes upon the fundamental rights of individuals," Professor Gadzekpo stated. "This bill threatens the very foundation of our democracy and sets a dangerous precedent for the future."

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The CDD emphasized that human rights are not subject to majority approval, refuting arguments that the bill reflects the will of the Ghanaian people. They stressed the importance of protecting minority rights to prevent the tyranny of the majority.

Furthermore, CDD highlighted the secular and multi-religious nature of Ghana, noting that imposing a single cultural value system would erode the country's diversity. They warned against the state-sanctioned imposition of religious views on the population, emphasizing the principle of separation of Church and State.

Addressing concerns about media freedom, CDD pointed out that the bill would punish journalists and social media users for reporting on LGBTQI+ issues, infringing upon freedom of expression. They also criticized the bill for violating Article 108 of the 1992 Constitution, which prohibits private members' bills that impose a charge on the public purse.

The "Big 18" and Human Rights Coalition urged Parliament to reject the Anti-LGBTQI Bill, emphasizing the importance of upholding the rights of all citizens. They warned that passing the bill would not only contravene domestic and international human rights standards but also undermine the role of the media in society.

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The press conference comes amidst ongoing debates in Parliament regarding the controversial bill, with a vote expected in the coming days.

The press conference crowned a workshop organised by CDD to sensitise journalists on fair and balanced reportage on issues concerning minority groups, and to champion their human rights.

Read the full press statement below:

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