“Truth is not for your comfort; it’s for our liberation” – Sadhguru
The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights And Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, mostly known as the anti-LGBT Bill, currently before Parliament would do Ghana more harm than good if passed into law in its current form and state because it has portions that are clearly unconstitutional and this is a truth the Speaker of Parliament, himself Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin cannot run away from even if he decides to not voice it publicly for the fear of sounding politically incorrect.
The Bill ordinarily seeks to pass laws to make it a criminal offense to show affection, support or to give any form of assistance to persons who engage in consensual same sex even in private.
It also seeks to prohibit any form of pro-LGBT advocacy.
The proponents of the Bill, in their quest to achieve this objective are seeking that laws should be enacted for journalists, media owners and all persons who engage in any form of LGBT advocacy or expresses an editorial opinion in support of LGBT should be thrown into jail for a number of years if the Bill gets passed into law.
That portion that prescribes the incarceration of journalists is one of the aspects we certainly have a problem with as a newspaper company and we are surprised at the silence of the Private Newspapers and Online News Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG), the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA).
Perhaps the leaders have opted for self-preservation for the fear of. Ring tagged.
Our biggest disappointment however is with the Speaker of Parliament himself and a few Members who two decades ago were vocal in advocating for a repeal of the Criminal Libel and Seditious Libel Laws which increased journalists for doing their jobs.
Indeed the Minority side of the House has been vocal against a new dragon called the Publication of False News that has been used to harass journalists in recent years.
It is therefore curious that Parliament suddenly seeks to pass a new law to jail journalists over what they write on LGBT.
Ironically this is happening under the Presidency of Nana Akufo-Addo who was the most vocal in getting the libel laws repealed.
Mr. President, also for the fear of political attacks has been cowed into docility and shelved his human rights lawyer’s wig.
It is against the principles of good democratic governance for governments to make a law to jail journalists over their expressed opinions on sex.
Expressing an opinion on sexual preference does not cost the tax payer any money and does not in anyway impose that opinion on another person.
This aspect of the Bill is a clear a direct threat to press freedoms and unconstitutional.
It is a direct media censorship. It suppresses press freedoms. It puts fear in journalists and forbids them from freely expressing their opinions for fear of being jailed. We are against it.
Public discussions on the Bill is way over the mark from the actual contents of the Bill and this misinformation is fueled by some media houses who misinform listeners that the the Bill is about men marrying men, women marrying women and a debate between MPs who support LGBT legalization and those who do not support LGBT legalization in Ghana.
The Bill is not about any attempt to legalize LGBT in Ghana. That narrative is to spark and exploit emotions.
It is completely about criminalizing same sex relationships and the talk of it or show of affection for persons involved in it.
It further seeks to pass laws that persons who own landed properties or any form of shelter where LGBT advocacy or activity is found to have taken place should be made to face a jail term for years.
Already, Ghana has stringent laws to protect under-aged persons who are lured into any form of sexual intercourse.
Child sex or exposure to sexual activity is strictly prohibited and offenders risk custodial sentencing.
The country also has laws to protect adults who are forced into unnatural canal knowledge without consent and offenders risk jail terms.
Almost a decade ago when the Daily Guide newspaper published an exclusive story of one Joseph Owusu-Sekyere who claimed he was into same sex relationship with a top politician in the country and was ready to name other top politicians who were in the act, the god-fathers of some of the proponents of this Bill were in the forefront of making Mr. Owusu-Sekyere zip his lips rather than blow their cover.
They did everything possible to injunct him from speaking and sealed his lips.
The name of the persons involved in that cover up are jaw-dropping….
– More Soon-