With the rising concerns of the human rights fight against the LGBTQ+ community, US veep Kamala Harris as part of her visit to the nation stressed her stands on embracing the rights of the LGBTQ+
CRPL-Ghana beseech speaker Alban Bagbin to withdraw inappropriate LGBTQ+ statement
A religious group, the Center for religion and public life (CPRL-Ghana) has with displeasure implored the speaker of parliament, RT Hon Alban Bagbin to withdraw his inappropriate LGBTQ+ statement.
Her expression of the need for Ghana's parliament to accept the freedom of these marginalized communities caused an uproar within a section of Ghanaians including the honorable speaker of parliament Alban Bagbin expressing his dead rage against veep Kamala Harris's stand.
Alban Bagbin reacting to this comment has posited that government should not interfere in the passing of the LGBTQ+ bill, describing Ms. Kamala Harris's comment as an imposition that does not sit well with the norms of the country.
However, the CPRL-Ghana in a release finds the RT Hon speaker's reaction as autocratic and not a democratic way of tackling such a sensitive matter hence calling on the speaker to withdraw his statement and rather resort to a representative way of addressing the matter.
Read the full letter below:
For Immediate Release
The press conference held by the presidency for the visiting Vice President of the United States of America, Her Excellency Kamala Harris, to address some troubling issues like homosexuality and human rights caused a stir that the Center for Religion and Public Life (CRPL-Ghana) observed with extreme concern and amazement. On March 27, 2023, the aforementioned press conference was held at Jubilee House.
At that encounter, Ms. Harris reaffirmed her position, as well as that of her country, on LGBTQ+ as a human rights issue, which would not change.
On his part, the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, indicated that the bill on the promotion of proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values is yet to be passed by parliament and that if passed, he believes it would be sensitive to human rights and the country’s cultural disposition.
Reacting to this, at a meeting with some religious leaders, published by Ghanaweb on March 28, 2023, the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Rt. Honorable Alban Bagbin berated the duo over their comments. He posited that the comments by Ms. Harris were an imposition and that another nation could not impose its way of life on us.
Speaker Bagbin further avers that any attempt at stalling the bill was an attack on the ‘natural’ order of things regarding procreation. He, therefore, advised the President of the Republic not to interfere with the work of parliament in passing the bill.
It looks to us like the Speaker is becoming a judge in his cause, which goes against the principle of natural justice that no person can judge a case in which they have an interest. As a referee, we expect that the Speaker abide by fair play rules and not be a judge in his cause, as we are now witnessing. This is not a democracy but an autocracy.
Using procreation to advance arguments against homosexuality is also worrying. It is worrying because, according to 2019 research retrieved from the Archives of Public Health, Ghana is a signatory to Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) and has committed to increasing modern contraceptive use from 22% in 2012 to 30% in 2020. The study found that there is an unmet need for family planning in the country. So, what is the honorable speaker saying?
At this point, we want to emphasize that the choice to become a parent or not is one that each person has the freedom to make at their discretion. Therefore, we do not think that deciding not to have children is evil or sinful before God, just like those who choose a celibate priestly vocation.
In the interest of the peace and prosperity that we all long for, we humbly counsel the Speaker to withdraw his statements and take the appropriate action. We also suggest that he speak in the future with awareness of human sexuality and the damage that it can cause to some people.
We advise that the same amount of energy invested in this bill be given to the fight against corruption, poverty, challenges facing the healthcare system, environmental problems, maternal and infant mortality, poor hygiene and sanitation, and educational injustice.
On this note, we would like to express our deep concern about the speaker's position and comments on this issue.
LGBTQ+ life matters!
Denis M. Adufuli
Founder and Deputy CEO
Center for Religion and Public Life (CRPL-Ghana)
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