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Ghana’s Anti-LGBTQ Stance Sparks Debate

Lawmaker Calls for Compassion in LGBTQ Law

by Victor Adetimilehin

In a recent parliamentary vetting, Vincent Ekow Assafuah, the Deputy Minister for Local Government designate, voiced his support for Ghana’s anti-LGBTQ bill. His backing stems from his Catholic upbringing, yet he holds reservations about the punitive measures proposed. Assafuah questions the effectiveness of imprisonment for LGBTQ individuals, suggesting that societal reform should take precedence over ostracization.

Reform vs. Punishment

Assafuah’s stance highlights a critical debate within Ghanaian society: the balance between punishment and reform. He argues that the principle behind punishment should aim for reformation rather than exclusion. The lawmaker proposes alternative methods, such as community service, to integrate individuals back into society.

“There is a principle behind punishment and one of the principles is to ensure that a person is being reformed out of a criminal activity,” Assuafuah said.

“If we have to reform persons, do we have to mete out punishments that seem to ostracise the person from the society?” he further asked

He argued that Ghanaian Society is responsible for reforming people, not abandoning them.

“We cannot say that there is a supposed anticipation of gay persons being lynched if they are given community services and so because of that as the people’s representatives we are throwing our hands in despair to allow such persons just to go astray,” Ekow Assuafuah stated.

A Nation Divided

The anti-LGBTQ bill, passed by Parliament but awaiting presidential approval, has divided the nation. It criminalizes LGBTQ activities and advocacy, with potential jail terms of up to five years. This legislation has sparked discussions on human rights and the role of government in personal lives.

Despite the controversy, Assafuah’s comments suggest a path towards a more inclusive society. By focusing on reform and community engagement, Ghana can foster an environment of understanding and acceptance.

Source: Modern Ghana 

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