A research fellow at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), Dr. Edwin Coleman, has described Ghana’s Anti-LGBT bill as the most ridiculous piece of legislation in both Ghana’s legal history and the English Common Law.
According to him, the bill which largely stifles free speech poses no logical argument for the purpose it was created for, and would only undermine the country’s democratic gains should it be legalized.
He added that arguments concerning LGBT rights being alien to the Ghanaian culture are unfounded and based solely on prejudice and personal biases against logic and peer-reviewed academic reports on the matter.
“If you people do not have any cogent argument as to the reason why we should restrict and impose sanctions on Ghanaians, if you don’t have any cogent argument, you people cannot use backdoor when there are academics in here who can criticise what you’re talking about,” he said.
Speaking on JoyNews’ The Law, he was appalled by the description of the bill by a University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) Law Lecturer as beautiful.
According to Justice Abdulai, the Anti-LGBT bill is a very beautiful piece of legislation that should be passed into law.
He explained that the practice of homosexuality and the tolerance of other genders aside from male and female should be wholeheartedly rejected and condemned as they are ungodly.
But reacting to the statement, Dr. Edwin Coleman said, a bill that stifles free speech and free expression cannot be described as beautiful.
“You cannot tweet on social media, you cannot do anything whether in sympathy or whatsoever. The law creates a foundation upon which the Ghanaian family values are. Apart from this foundation, if you say any other thing that is contrary to this foundation, it attracts penal sanctions.
“The moment you say this is the only thing you can talk about, and that any other thing is inconsistent with the law, you are basically compelling me with what I can say. Nowhere in English common law has that ridiculousness been exhibited. Nowhere in the history of English common law have we done that.
“The foundation of our very democracy which is about free speech, people expressing their views, expressing themselves, expressing their thoughts, people are presenting contrary arguments or contrary positions to the bill, you say this is beautiful? Oh come on!” he told host, Joseph Ackah-Blay.
He further added that it was entirely wrong to formulate legislation that was one-sided in nature without taking into consideration the consequence it was going to have on the citizenry – both the target group and the nation at large – at the behest of an individual or organisation.
“In any case, I’m sure we’re going to create gay prisons as well. We’re going to put people in prison, they’re gays, let us go and create gay prisons as well,” he concluded.