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FEATURE – LGBTQI+: Is Ghana ready to pay the price? – Political Analyst

I find the ongoing debate on the “anti-LGBTI+” intriguing. The debate has mostly centred on culture and human rights. But is it truly the case? For the avoidance of doubt, I find it difficult to accept or admit to a gender change or a sexual orientation that departs from the natural order. I agree with the definition of sexuality as one between a natural born man and a natural born woman. Sex, I believe is determined at birth and not by choice except when biologically, a hormonal imbalance makes it biologically difficult to ascertain the natural sex of a person.

Our family values mostly support union between a man and a woman as the natural order for the purposes of procreation and continuity of family life and society. African culture also supports polygamy which has naturally been the second best option for most middle income earners who see it as archaic. Polygamy in the coming years may die a natural death as seen in its few practices in recent years. Culture isn’t static. It changes over time.

In the United States for example, some states like Mississippi supports legal marriages for girls as young as 12 and 14 years of age with parental consent, but this practice is abhorred in Ghana. You will end up in prison in Ghana if you have sex with a girl less than 16 years of age in Ghana but that same age is legally allowed to marry in some states in the U.S.A. But can Ghana attempt to put the Americans “right”? The answer is a BIG NO.

Now lets come back to the anti-LGBTQI+ Bill. Must Ghana protect its family values? Yes Ghana has the right to. But must we treat people who have chosen that path as common criminals? This is where we must thread cautiously. Is LGBTQI+ a Western Culture? I struggle to believe it is. Believe it or not, some Westerners abhor that practice. What they do is to accommodate them and treat them like humans and not animals(criminals) as this bill seeks to achieve.

I support the idea that these acts must be curtailed and not allowed to fester. I can never practice this or wish any member of my family practices it, but we must also balance our desire to legislate against it without emotions. The desire to imprison Ghanaians over this shouldn’t make anyone happy. Until such a law is abused and political opponents are targeted with it, we wouldn’t appreciate the advise from well meaning Ghanaians.

Ghana has the right to legislate to protect what it calls “Family Values” and that is not in question. But in doing so, we must be careful not to over do it.

And to fellow citizens who are up in arms with the western powers trying to cow Ghana into submission, until you are able to fend for yourself, the one who feeds you tells you what to do. Develop your economy, create jobs for the teaming unemployed youth, and you will have the voice and arm to determine what is right or wrong without being told what to do. The West are mostly silent on what happens in the Middle East and the China because they depend on them. Lets learn from them.

The Bill is likely to be passed since refusal to pass it will be politically fatal for the party that opposes it. But are Ghanaians willing to pay the price for the passage of the Bill? Have we embraced ourselves in case the West initiate economic sanctions? Time will tell.

POLITICAL ANALYST
CLEMENT A. ACHEAMPONG | PREMPEH COLLEGE

REGULAR PANELIST – OMANBAPASHOW SILVERFM
0240122535

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