By DR. Frederick Doe, Senior Lecturer in Management and Organizational Behavior, UPSA.
The past three weeks have seen tremendous agitation from Ghanaians home and abroad especially the proponents and opponents of the Promotion of the Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Values’ Bill since it came to light on Monday August 2, 2021. The Bill seeks to criminalize the promotion, advocacy, funding, and acts of homosexuality in Ghana and calls for very stiff sanctions on persons caught culpable of any of the above. Though the matter has been simmering underneath for a long time since 2000, the foremost event that has sparked fury has been the press conference and presentation of memo by the ‘Human Rights Coalition’ and a ‘Coalition of Lawyers, Academics and other Professionals’ to parliament. It must be stated clearly here that the ‘Coalition of Lawyers, Academics and other Professionals’, who sent a memo to parliament to oppose the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Values’ Bill represent less than 0.001% of the total number of lawyers, academics and professionals in Ghana and DO NOT REPRESENT OR CARRY THE VIEWS of all Lawyers, academics and professionals in Ghana.
Among the many arguments tabled by the advocates of the Gay community is the issue of ‘Human Rights’, which the advocates have sought to advance as a cogent reason why the bill should not be passed. In the light of the so-called ‘Human Rights’ there are key questions that need to be answered to provide clarity to everyone. The first question is what is the definition of ‘human right’? The Equality and Human Rights Commission define ‘human right’ as “the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death. …. They can never be taken away, although they can sometimes be restricted – for example if a person breaks the law, or in the interests of national security. These basic rights are based on shared values like dignity, fairness, equality, respect and independence and …these values are defined and protected by law.”
From the definition, it is clear that ‘rights’ are not claimed by just anyone and for whatever purpose. It is subject to national interest and based on ‘shared values’ of a people. Consequently, before an ideology can become a ‘right’, It must be agreed upon by a collective mass of people in a society and it must be subject to shared values of a people. It is therefore very intriguing that a few people can claim something as a ‘right’ when it goes against the generality of the people’s values. So then, who determines what is a ‘right’? For instance, a person may claim that they feel naturally inclined towards raping married women. Or a person may claim that he gets a kick out of killing people and feels they are naturally wired that way. Should these people be GIVEN the right they claim to live out their ungodly inclinations or instincts? Definitely Not! What about people who ‘identify’ as various things. Examples, if a 60-year-old man identifies as a 20-year-old man, can such a person be compelled to go on retirement? If anyone can claim a ‘right’, then there will be mayhem and society will break down into a chaotic mess.
So, to help further clarify the issue, let us ask ourselves and answer the question: Whose ‘Right’ is ‘RIGHT’? The issue of Right has to be argued from these perspectives. Firstly, the Right of Ghana as a Sovereign Nation to determine its own course and values. The Right of the people of Ghana as a democracy to decide on what is in their collective interest. Secondly, the Right of Babies and Children who eventually get caught in the web through adoption by gay couples as a result of the need to raise a family. These rights need to be argued vis-à-vis the claim to ‘Human Right’ being pushed by advocates for the LGBTQI+ community. From the foregoing, it is clear that when weighed in the scales, the so-called ‘Rights’ of the LGBTQ+ do not carry sufficient weight in comparison to the ‘Right of Ghana as sovereign nation to determine its own path, the ‘Right of Ghana as a democratic nation to decide on what the majority want and the ‘Right’ of children to choose where they want to live.
Let us as a nation, REJECT UNEQUIVOCABLY THE PRESSURE FROM ADVOCATES AND THEIR SPONSORS, TO ACCEPT AN IGNOBLE LIFESTYLE AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION THAT IS INIMICAL TO THE WELL-BEING AND SURVIVAL OF OUR BELOVED COUNTRY GHANA.