What it means to be gay in Ghana.
Over the years, the LGBTQ community from protests on the streets to various peaceful campaigns has sought for the indulgence of the Ghanaian government and other foreign agencies in the protection of rights and human dignity of LGBTQ persons living in the country against homophobic attacks. Owing to the religious stances fueled with our urge to perpetuate antediluvian customs and practices, we find ourselves retrogressing to the medieval times and the centuries. Their efforts have been met with consistent negligence and homophobic responses.
The bill proposes jail time for offenders
In no attempt to become the center of public attraction, the news of LGBTQ having instituted itself by owning to their name an office, refurbished the hatred against the gay community among many citizens. From then, rigorous efforts have been made by certain lawmakers to legalize the hate for LGBTQ persons. In February 2021, a bill was proposed by a 7 member committee to criminalize same sex marriage and relations as well as to halt the growth of any campaign promoting LGBTQ rights. Perpetrators of this crime are said in the bill to have committed a 2nd degree felony and are set to face a minimum jail time of three years and a maximum of six years.
The bill has received many commendations from faith-based institutions and certain members of the traditional councils. An alliance for faith-based institutions pleaded with the head of legislative council to decide the fate of this bill with an open ballot. This is meant to expose representatives of parliament who would refuse to endorse this bill. In the name of promoting proper human sexual and family values, this bill has met popular endorsement by citizens who obviously have had no proper enlightenment on sexual identity and gender orientation.
Miseducation on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
An interview by CNN with Sam George, ‘ a frontier of this anti-LGBTQ bill’, He clearly demonstrated gross sincere ignorance on the subject of sexual orientation and gender identity. It happens that his turbulent drive to propagate the endorsement of this bill is based on hatred against persons of the aforementioned community and unempirical reasons. He asserted that the country loses over 200 million USD in providing antiretroviral drugs for persons living with HIV/AIDS. He then concluded based on a flawed evidence that the majority of these persons are gays. The biased data is one of the very means by which homophobia has been spread among the general public.
Homophobia is here to stay.
Members of the gay community are at risk of facing condemnable charges, assaults and infringement of their rights as humans by virtue of identifying with this community. Persons who are found advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ community are liable to face jail time. The stakes for passing the anti-gay bill are very high since these representatives would like to heed to the call of people of constituency to reclaim power in the coming polls. It is a bad decade to be gay in Ghana.