The Dean of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) Law School says a rational debate on the anti-LGBTQI+ Bill can be held bearing in mind that Ghana is a secular state.

Professor Kofi Abotsi’s comment follows calls from many Ghanaians for Parliament to pass the anti-LGBTQI+ Bill into Law.

Religious authorities are vying for the passing of the anti-gay Bill, which is in opposition to the activities of the LGBTQI community because Ghanaian tradition and religion frown on them.

Following these calls, there have been arguments that religion is not enough grounds for passing the bill since there is no predominant religion in the country.

The Professor believes that tackling the debate from a secular perspective will help bring closure to the matter.

“For a good argument, we need to start from a recognition of the fact that we are a secular state. Therefore, for people who do not believe in anything, any debate which is founded on belief is an imposition on them,” he told Accra-based Citi FM on Monday.

The anti-gay bill, which is currently before Parliament, has generated a lot of controversy in the public space.

Wading into the argument, the Professor has called for a review of the Bill, especially portions prescribing punishment for offenders.

He acknowledged that the Bill’s aim to promote family values was arguably important; however, the punishments required a second look.

He noted, for instance, that “the Bill doubles the minimum punishment for rape.”

“The key question that ought to be asked is to check the balance of proportionality in terms of the ends being sought to be protected vis-à-vis the means to be used to protect that end.”

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