On August 2, 2021, the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill of 2021 was passed in the Ghanian parliament. Lawmakers were set to debate on the bill this October.
Victor Madrigal-Borloz, U.N.’s expert on sexual orientation and gender identity, said the bill violates the international human rights agreement. Borloz calls the bill “a system of state-sponsored discrimination and violence against LGBTI persons of great magnitude.”
Ghana’s anti-LGBTQ+ bill clarified the sharp divide between those who support the LGBTQ+ communities in Africa and those who vehemently condemn their “perverted nature,” as some say. Most of those who support the “anti-gay” bill are members of the major Christian churches in Africa.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Caroline Omolo, the associate pastor of the Cosmopolitan Affirming Community, said that all mainstream churches are against them. Omolo’s congregation is a rare community in Nairobi, Kenya, since most of her congregation’s members are LGBTQ+. Omolo added that these mainstream churches do not want their community to multiply. “They have always organized a group to maybe silence us or make the church disappear,” she said.
Taking their animosity towards the LGBTQ+, Christian leaders in Africa aligned with the United Methodist Church plan to make a break-away denomination. They are proposing to create a new group of Christian churches where they can continue oppressing LGBTQ+ individuals and deny same-sex marriage. They are also trying to avoid having to ordain an LGBTQ+ pastor.
The situation in Africa is rapidly becoming a stark contrast with their western counterparts. In the US, Europe, and other countries, Protestant churches and other Christian denominations are becoming increasingly supportive and inclusive of LGBTQ+ people.
The new anti-LGBTQ+ bill being debated in the Ghanian parliament will impose five-year imprisonment for being LGBTQ+. While supporting their cause will warrant a ten-year sentence.
Graeme Reid, the director of the LGBT Rights program of the Human Rights Watch, claims that the biggest supporters of Ghana’s new bill are doing it for their religious ideology. It is “a case study in extreme cruelty,” he added.
Rev. Dr. Cyril Fayose, an Evangelical Presbyterian and the director of The Christian Council, said that “Homosexuality is not a human right.” “We reject it in all uncertain terms,” he added. Another Christian leader, Bishop Stephen Adegbite, the director of national issues, said that the acceptance of the LGBTQ+ people would never happen. “There are no alternatives,” the bishop added.