A survey conducted by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has revealed that 7% of Ghanaians, wouldn’t mind living next door to someone in a same-sex relationship.

This is in spite of our sense of unity and hospitality.

The Afrobarometer report states that Ghanaians express tolerant attitudes towards people of different ethnicities, religions, and nationalities, yet, are highly intolerant to people involved in same-sex relationships.

“Fewer than one in 10 (7%) say they wouldn’t mind living next door to someone in a same-sex relationship,” the CDD Afrobarometer survey found.

This places Ghana fourth among 23 African countries surveyed between late 2019 and early 2021 in terms of intolerance, according to the survey.

It further adds that “intolerance toward people in same-sex relationships is pervasive across age groups, religious affiliations, and urban as well as rural locations.”

“Citizens with no formal education are slightly less likely to express intolerance (88%) than their more educated counterparts (91%-95%).”

This notwithstanding, “at least nine out of 10 Ghanaians express tolerant attitudes toward people of different ethnicities (92%), different religions (91%), and different political affiliations (90%), saying they would like it or would not care if they had these people as neighbours.”

“Three-fourths (74%) indicate the same tolerance toward immigrants or foreign workers,” the survey revealed.

The anti-LGBTQI+ Bill

A private members’ Bill sponsored by eight (8) Members of Parliament has been laid for passage into law.

The ‘Proper Human Sexual and Ghanaian Family Values Bill’ 2021 prescribes that people of the same sex who engage in sexual activity could be fined or jailed for between three to five years.

The Bill also stipulates that individuals who advocate for the rights of LGBTQI people or offer support will also face sanctions under the law aside from those who engage in it.

Subsequently, 13-member United Nations experts urged the government of Ghana to reject the anti-LGBTQI draft bill which is being reviewed by Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.

According to them, the bill intends to establish a state-sponsored discrimination and violence against LGBTQI people, adding that it is a recipe for violence.

Meanwhile, the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, and the Christian Council have backed the legislation amid accusations and criticisms by some groups and individuals who believe the Bill is discriminatory.

What is the latest?

Two separate documents have been sent to Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs making a case against the proposed Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021.

The two groups, the Human Rights Coalition and a Coalition of Lawyers, Academics and other Professionals, have subsequently submitted their petition against the bill.

They are asking the Committee not to recommend its passage.

Other Coalition

The other memorandum sent to Parliament is signed by Private Legal Practitioner, Akoto Ampaw, an Academic, Professor Emerita Takyiwaa Manuh, Professor Kwame KariKari, Professor Kofi Gyimah-Boadi, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, Professor H. Kwasi Prempeh, Professor Raymond Atuguba among others.

This group argues that the bill criminalizes dissenting views and expressions contrary to the words “freedom and justice“ that emblazon our coat of arms.

Thus “the Bill ought, with respect, to be firmly rejected by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, and by Parliament as a whole.”

The release of the latest Afrobarometer report inflames the conversation again as citizens are being urged to submit documents to the Committee stating their positions on the bill.

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