Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Catholic Bishops in Ghana Laud Parliament for Passing Family Protection Bill

Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference

Members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC) have lauded the West African nation’s parliament for passing the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021.

The Bill that was approved and adopted by the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in July seeks to criminalize the promotion and practice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) behavior.

“We wish to thank Parliament for the work done so far on the Bill, particularly the commitment of the speaker, Rt. Hon. Alban K.S Bagbin to ensure the successful passing of the Bill,” GCBC members say in their statement issued following their November 6 - 18 Plenary Assembly.

The Catholic Bishops urge Ghanaian lawmakers to “expedite action” in the process of having the Bill, which is to move to the consideration stage, become law

Should the Bill pass the consideration stage, it will move to the third reading, and then the presidential assent, which will make it law.

In their five-page statement that highlights various issues they want the government of Ghana to address, the Catholic Bishops ask the country’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo, to assent to the Bill as soon as it is passed by Parliament.

In August, Christian leaders in the West African nation expressed support for the Bill after the U.S. Ambassador to the country raised concerns regarding the 2021 proposed legislation. 

Ambassador Virginia Palmer cautioned Ghana against passing a legislation that she said would be inconsistent with the “welcoming, tolerant society” that the country is. 

“Just as the U.S. and other so-called developed countries have their cultural values which inform what is acceptable and/or unacceptable within their respective country jurisdictions, Ghana as a sovereign nation, also has cultural and religious values that guide, inform and guarantee the sustenance, harmony and cohesiveness of our communities, and we do not intend to compromise those values for LGBTQI+ investors,” Christian leaders, including GCBC members, said.