Ghanaian flag (Public domain photo from Pixabay)
Four people last week assaulted a Ghanaian man who they accused of being gay.
According to the Queer Ghana Education Fund, the four men who attacked the man in Zuarungu in the country’s Upper East Region referenced the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, an anti-LGBTQ bill that is currently before MPs. The assailants, according to QuGEF, told the 25-year-old man, who the group identified as Francis, that the measure had become law.
QuGEF also said two of the four men who attacked Francis have been arrested and charged with “assaulting and stealing from” him.
“They ambushed and accused him of homosexuality and told him that the bill had been passed into law and that they were acting according to the law,” said QuGEF in a press release.
Rightify Ghana, another LGBTQ rights group, commended the police’s swift response.
“The misinformation has gone far and bad actors are targeting LGBTQ persons believing that the bill has been passed and they can act unlawfully,” said Rightify Ghana. “Good that two out of four of the perpetrators have been arrested by the police in Bolgatanga, following a report made by QuGEF.”
Although President Nana Akufo-Addo has not signed the bill, many politicians and religious leaders have given Ghanaians the impression that it is now law. Many LGBTQ Ghanaians as a result have been ridiculed and assaulted in public, leaving many of them in fear to publicly disclose their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Apostle Kadmiel E.H. Agbalenyoh, founder and leader of the Seventh Day Congregation of Theocracy, and his church on Jan. 1 organized an anti-LGBTQ seminar and protest that took place at the Achimota Girls’ Guide in Accra, the country’s capital. Greater Accra Regional Chief Imam Alhaji Sule Issa chaired the event that other faith leaders and radio personality Blakk Rasta attended.
Rightify Ghana described the protest as “the first anti-LGBTQ event this year” and it was “organized by a long time homophobe whose hate campaign is not new.” The group also said the remarks by MP Sam George, one of the bill’s sponsors who said lawmakers will pass it before the end of next month, are not true.
“Whilst the Parliament of Ghana has only done up to Clause 6 in the Consideration Stage, the MP falsely claimed that they had worked on 11 clauses. He is setting deadlines and lying about work they have not yet done,” said Rightify Ghana.
“Contrary to what he said, only s out of the 25 clauses have been considered by Parliament,” the group further noted. “Even with those six, some were referred to the drafting division to be worked on and those that were proposed to be deleted are to be reintroduced under other yet-to-be-discussed clauses or separately at the end.”
Activism Ghana, another advocacy group, also accused George of giving false timelines.
“He keeps lying, even about his own bill,” said Activism Ghana.
Former President John Mahama, who is a presidential candidate for the National Democratic Congress, the leading opposition party, has encouraged MPs to pass the bill and for Akufo-Addo to sign it into law.
“I am against LGBTQ, my faith doesn’t support it a man is a man, a woman is a woman,” said Mahama.
Presidential and Parliamentary elections will take place in December.
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