Home » Chief Imam Celebrates Anti-LGBTQ Bill in Ghana

Chief Imam Celebrates Anti-LGBTQ Bill in Ghana

by Motoni Olodun

The Chief Imam of Ghana, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, has expressed his joy and gratitude to the parliament of Ghana for passing a bill that criminalizes LGBTQ activities and advocacy in the country. The bill, which was approved by the parliament on Friday, imposes harsh penalties for anyone who engages in, promotes, or supports LGBTQ rights, ranging from five to 10 years in prison. The Chief Imam, who is the highest Islamic authority in Ghana, said that the bill was a victory for morality and religion, and that it reflected the will of the majority of Ghanaians, who are predominantly Christian and Muslim. He said that he was “gleefully joyful” and “overwhelmed with happiness” when he heard the news of the bill’s passage, and that he prayed for God’s blessings and guidance for the lawmakers who championed the bill. The Chief Imam also urged the president of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, to assent to the bill as soon as possible, and to resist any pressure or influence from foreign countries or organizations that oppose the bill. He said that Ghana was a sovereign and independent nation, and that it had the right to uphold its own values and traditions, which are based on the teachings of the Bible and the Quran. He said that LGBTQ activities and advocacy were unnatural, immoral, and sinful, and that they posed a threat to the social fabric and stability of Ghana. The Chief Imam’s statement echoes the sentiments of many religious leaders and groups in Ghana, who have been vocal and influential in their support for the bill. The bill, which was drafted by a coalition of eight lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition parties, has also received widespread backing from the public, who have staged rallies and demonstrations in favor of the bill. According to a 2020 survey by Afrobarometer, a pan-African research network, 87% of Ghanaians said they would not vote for a political party that supported LGBTQ rights. However, the bill has also faced fierce criticism and condemnation from human rights activists, civil society organizations, and international partners, who have denounced the bill as discriminatory, oppressive, and unconstitutional. They have warned that the bill would violate the fundamental rights and freedoms of LGBTQ people and their allies, and that it would fuel stigma, violence, and persecution against them. They have also argued that the bill would undermine Ghana’s reputation and standing as a democratic and tolerant nation, and that it would jeopardize its relations and cooperation with countries and institutions that value LGBTQ rights. The bill has also sparked a heated and polarized debate on social media, where supporters and opponents of the bill have clashed and exchanged views. Some celebrities and public figures, such as musicians, actors, and journalists, have also voiced their opinions on the bill, either in favor or against it. The bill is now awaiting the president’s signature to become law. The president, who is a devout Christian, has not publicly commented on the bill, but he has previously stated that he would not legalize same-sex marriage in Ghana. However, he has also faced pressure and appeals from some of his allies and advisers, such as the speaker of parliament and the chief justice, to reject the bill and uphold the constitution, which guarantees equal rights and dignity for all citizens. The bill Is expected to face legal challenges and petitions if it is signed into law, as some lawyers and activists have vowed to challenge its constitutionality and validity in court. The bill is also likely to have significant implications and consequences for Ghana’s social, political, and economic landscape, as it will affect the lives and livelihoods of millions of people, both within and outside the country.

Source: Graphic Online

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