Anti-gay bill: ‘Practitioners will even do it more in Ghana’s overcrowded prisons’ — Catholic Bishops

Headlines Anti-gay bill: Practitioners will even do it more in Ghanas overcrowded prisons — Catholic Bishops
MAR 1, 2024 LISTEN

The President of Ghana's Catholic Bishops' Conference, Reverend Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi has warned that the country's new anti-LGBTQ bill even risks promoting the very behaviors it aims to curb due to overcrowding in Ghana prisons.

Under the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghana Family Values bill passed by Parliament on February 28, LGBTQ acts, advocacy and funding are criminalized and punishable by imprisonment.

However, Reverend Kwasi Gyamfi told Accra-based Citi FM on Thursday that incarcerating LGBTQ people may end up having the opposite effect.

"Our prisons are already overcrowded as it is. Throwing LGBTQ people into that environment is only going to enable more of the behaviors this bill wants to prevent," Gyamfi said.

He explained, "If you round up same-sex people and put them in the same prison rooms together, what's to stop them from continuing these activities behind bars? They'll be experts at it by the time they're released after a few months."

According to the bishop, Ghana's prisons lack proper rehabilitative and corrective programming for inmates.

Simply imprisoning LGBTQ people is unlikely to reform them, he argued, and may backfire by giving offenders more opportunities to connect and strengthen underground communities.

Rev. Gyamfi urged Parliament to rethink using imprisonment as the main punishment and instead focus sentencing on reform.

“The government needs to add more corrective and reformative measures in prisons if they truly want to change behaviors, not just punish people," he stated.

Isaac Donkor Distinguished
Isaac Donkor Distinguished

News ReporterPage: IsaacDonkorDistinguished