Associate Professor at the University of Ghana School of Law says the anti-LBGTQ+ Bill has elements that violate the rights of Ghanaians.
Speaking on JoyNews NewsFile Saturday, Prof Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua said the anti-LBGTQ+ bill in its current state violates the rights to freedom of expression, rights of association and right to attain a certain form of development for one’s self.
“When we are talking about Human Rights, these are rights that people are entitled to as a result of their humanity. Rights issues can also be seen in the context of the fact that we cannot have an omnivorous form of rights that every form of rights should subscribe to.”
He further intimated that when the Bill is passed, it will proscribe people’s freedom to talk about issues about homosexuality.
“It has serious consequences on people’s freedom. The Bill, for example, says that you cannot question the issue of homosexuality; you cannot express it on the radio and social media. That’s a violation of the right to freedom of expression”.
Mr Appiagyei-Atua also highlighted that the Bill “also talks about the fact that, if as a lecturer, I want to talk about LGBTQ rights in my Human Rights class, I cannot talk about it because I’ll be questioning the fundamentals of this particular practice which the law seems to prohibit”.
Addressing these aforementioned concerns, the Ningo-Prampram MP, Samuel Nartey Georg, who was also on the show, told host Evans Mensah that the bill guarantees protection against assault and harm meted against such persons.
“Clause 22 prohibits extrajudicial treatment. Clauses in the bill actually give the people involved in LGBTQ+ activities the right to medical attention, etc.”
He also emphasised that if Mr Appiagyei-Atua, in his Human Rights law class, teaches about the challenges of LGBT, and he does not try to inculcate the doctrines of LGBTQ into his students, he has nothing to fear.
“If you turn yourself into an advocate for LGBTQ rights in your class, and advocate that the Ghanaian child whom you have been asked to teach in trust, that child has been put in your care and trust, you are to teach that child in consonance with our customary values. And you go, and you are trying to inculcate something contrary, you would fall foul of the law.
“But if you are having an intellectual discussion, or a lecture on what the history of LGBTQ has been, how it has evolved, the challenges it’s facing even on the African continent, how it has been embraced elsewhere, and it is solely for educational purposes, you have no problem,” Samuel George told host Evans Mensah.
Using the analogy of the work of a prostitute, Mr George said that “Prostitution is consensual. Prostitution is an individual selling his or her body for monetary value. The person gives you consent to have sex with them and pay them”.
Even though prostitutes are human beings who also have human rights, Samuel Nartey George noted that media stations do not run LPMs for prostitutes.
He argued that neither is there an association for prostitutes in the country, and this is because it does not align with what the larger society has agreed.
“If you are an employer and somebody appears before you, and you find out that that person is an armed robber, or you find out that person is into money fraud or cyber fraud, would you employ the person?”