The Deputy Majority leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markins has made a statement in support of the non-criminalization of LGBTQ persons, emphasizing that the position of the church is clear on the matter.
Speaking in an interview with reporters, the Member of Parliament for Effutu Constituency stressed that he is not in support that persons who associate with LGBTQ activities should be prosecuted virtue of that.
“Personally, I don’t think that somebody claiming to be a lesbian or gay should go to jail by virtue of that and the law is very clear.” he said.
He added: “The position of the church is very clear on this matter and as a Catholic, I don’t think that I should hold anything contrary to what the church says. The church says that by the culture of Africans, we’re against it. The Catholic church says it is against same sex marriage, but it is also against criminalising somebody who has that sexual orientation, and as a Catholic myself, I share the same sentiments.”
This development comes in the wake of recent remarks made by renowned Catholic figure, Cardinal Peter Turkson who opined that LGBTQ activities should not be criminalized but rather, people should be educated to help understand the issue better.
In an interview with Stephen Sackur on BBC’s HARDtalk Show, Cardinal Turkson articulated that there’s the need for more people to be educated to understand the reality that those who engage or associate with LGBTQ activities have committed no crime and hence must not be treated as such.
“My position has simply been this, that LGBT, gay people may not be criminalised, because they’ve committed no crime, but neither should this position also become something to be imposed on cultures, which are not yet ready to accept stuffs like that,” he said.
It is time to begin education, to help people understand what this reality, this phenomenon is. We need a lot of education to get people to make a distinction between what is crime and what is not crime,” he added.
Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has called for work on the anti-LGBTQ bill, Proper Sexual Human Rights and Ghanaian Family Values, to be expedited. The proposed legislation aims to outlaw LGBTQ+ activities and associated conduct.
The proposed legislation has sparked heated debates across the nation, with supporters arguing that it aligns with cultural and religious values, while opponents contend that it poses a threat to fundamental human rights.