Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill is to expand legislation on homosexuality, not to criminalize

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    The Ningo-Prampram MP, Sam Nartey George, has opposed statements that the LGBTQI+ Bill is to criminalise homosexuality.

    According to him, the drafted bill seeks to expand the country’s legislation on homosexuality as the bill is not a new law.

    “When I get calls from international media houses, even local media houses who says you are seeking to criminalise homosexuality, I say to them no, I’m seeking to expand existing legislation on homosexuality,” he said on Saturday.

    Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile, Sam George said the Criminal Offenses Act, section 104 Act 29, is clear on unnatural carnal knowledge, thus criminalising homosexuality, but the bill is to respond to the rapid advocacy.

    “The script of the law makes you realise that in 1960, the intent of that law was to criminalise homosexuality. Gayism was the main thing at the time so you see that the wording of them was actually focused on gayism aspect of homosexuality.”

    However, 61 years on, he said, there is a new variation, “specifically this bill is to tighten and strengthen the legal framework.”

    Mr George noted that there have been situations where the police have arrested some persons they allegedly accused of being involved in the act, but “they are unable, based on section 104, to carry out proper prosecution because section 104 is no longer fit for the purpose, given the scope.”

    “Again, you also have our cultural values that need to be protected and most importantly is the growing boldness of advocacy for something that is illegal,” he told host, Evans Mensah.

    He said some research they conducted revealed that there is LGBTQI advocacy in Senior High Schools (SHS) in the country, adding that other heads of schools have complained the same.

    “They are setting up recruitment drives in our Secondary Schools, they have pimps in the secondary schools who they pay monies to [recruit the students].” 

    He described such occurrence as unfortunate and a threat to the nation as it is “now becoming a commercial enterprise.”

    The Ningo-Prampram MP further alleged that some community-based organisations that are with government organisations to teach sex education “have gone beyond that and are actually now pushing the agenda of homosexuality, and we have evidence of this.”

    He also recalled some members of a diplomatic core showed up during the opening of an LGBTQI+ advocacy office in Accra, which he said is a breach of “Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.”

    He commended government for responding to the call to shut down that office, but said, “we didn’t see the sanctions that we expected to see follow those who ought to have known better, and who went to support it.”

    “But then this bill is a direct response to the growing threat of advocacy and that’s why when you read the bill, the most punitive measure is actually for advocacy and not even the act itself,” he stressed.

    He said anyone caught in the act will face a jail term of five years and not ten years as been speculated.