The Parliament of Ghana has begun the consideration stage of the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021.
The Bill which is to protect the country’s cultural values has been in the spotlight of public discourse for many years, particularly the last two.
The bill, when passed into law will oblige all organs of state, state institutions, parents, teachers, and guardians alike, to promote and protect human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values and preserve and integrate them into the fabric of national life.
“Honorable, as it is now, I will advise that we stop at 2 and allow members to think through the proposed amendments and bring them to the order paper that will guide the draftspeople from compiling what the decisions are taken by the house. The way we have one now, it will be difficult for them to follow the debate and to capture it properly.
“With this said, I will defer further consideration of the bill to Monday if it is agreeable to honorable members. The consideration stage of the promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and the Family Values Bill 2021 is deferred to Monday.”Alban Bagbin
The proposed bill does not intend to criminalize queer as put by one of the lead sponsors of the bill, Samuel Nartey George, Member of Parliament for Ningo Pram-Pram Constituency.
“So for consistency in the entire bill, it will read, LGBTTA+ because we are not criminalizing queer and we are not criminalizing questioning either.”Samuel Nartey George
The “Q” in LGBTQ+ can stand for “queer” or “questioning.” “Queer” is often used as an umbrella term to describe individuals whose sexual orientation or gender identity does not align with societal norms or expectations. It can be an identity in its own right or a term that individuals use to express their non-normative sexual orientations or gender identities.
It’s important to note that the term “queer” has historically been used as a derogatory slur against LGBTQ+ individuals. However, in recent years, it has been reclaimed by many within the community as a positive and inclusive term. It represents a sense of empowerment, pride, and celebration of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
It’s also worth mentioning that not everyone within the LGBTQ+ community identifies with or uses the term “queer.” Some individuals prefer specific labels like lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or other identities within the spectrum. It is always important to respect individuals’ self-identifications and use the terminology they prefer.
The acronym “LGBTTAP” is not widely recognized or commonly used in the LGBTQ+ community. The most commonly used acronym is “LGBTQ+,” which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (or Questioning) with the “+” representing additional sexual orientations and gender identities.
Per the directives the speaker has, the duly proposed amendments were to be advertised on the order paper on Monday to due process.
Liberal Democracy In West-Africa
Ghana is currently embroiled in a contentious debate over the passage of an anti-LGBTQ+ bill, which has significant implications for the country’s liberal democracy and its standing in the sub-region. Known for its vibrant democracy and cultural diversity, Ghana has a history of upholding democratic principles and respecting the rule of law. However, the proposed legislation seeks to criminalize same-sex relationships and activities, reflecting deep-rooted cultural and religious beliefs that view homosexuality as contrary to societal norms and traditional values.
Supporters of the bill argue that it is necessary to protect Ghana’s sovereignty and preserve its cultural values. They believe the legislation aligns with the wishes of the majority of Ghanaians and serves as a defense against perceived Western influences. On the other hand, critics express concerns about the potential infringement on individual rights and freedoms. They argue that criminalizing same-sex relationships violates principles of equality and non-discrimination enshrined in Ghana’s Constitution and international human rights treaties.
The passage of the anti-LGBTQ+ bill raises broader questions about the delicate balance between protecting individual rights and upholding cultural values within liberal democracies. Ghana faces the challenge of navigating this tension while addressing the expectations and desires of its citizens. If the bill is passed, it could strain diplomatic relations internationally and lead to criticism from countries prioritizing LGBTQ+ rights. Domestically, it may foster an environment of fear and discrimination, marginalizing LGBTQ+ individuals and impeding progress toward inclusivity and social acceptance.
To maintain its liberal democratic standing, Ghana could adopt a balanced approach that respects fundamental human rights while promoting dialogue and education to address societal concerns. This would involve public awareness campaigns, community engagement, and fostering an inclusive society.
Striking this delicate balance is crucial for preserving Ghana’s liberal democracy, protecting individual rights, and maintaining its position as a democratic leader in the sub-region.