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02.03.2024 Headlines

Passage of harsher anti-gay bill comes with consequences – Gabby

Gabby Asare Otchere-DarkoGabby Asare Otchere-Darko
02.03.2024 LISTEN

Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a prominent member of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute (DI), has warned that the passage of the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill will come with consequences.

Parliament on February 28, 2024, passed the bill that outlaws LGBTQ+ activities, including their promotion, advocacy, and funding.

Individuals found guilty could be sentenced to imprisonment ranging from 6 months to 3 years, while those who promote and sponsor the act could face a prison term between 3 to 5 years.

In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), Mr. Otchere-Darko expressed his concerns about the enactment of what he termed a “harsher anti-LGBTQ Bill” and highlighted the possible implications.

He called for education from the media and politicians to inform citizens about the advantages and disadvantages of the Bill if it becomes law.

The NPP stalwart urged individuals who believe that the Bill is constitutionally incorrect to seek legal redress.

“Ghana's parliament, in which is vested the sovereign will of the people, has democratically passed a harsher anti-LGBTQ Bill. Yes, democratically! In fact the threat of being unseated for standing for the rights of gays, etc, certainly created its own culture of silence in the House! But, it is the decision of Parliament and one which enjoys huge popular support in the country. The world must understand that.

“But, Ghanaians must also understand that it comes with consequences. Choices have consequences. We expect the media and the politicians to be fair to the people by letting them know the pros and cons of this decision to impose stiffer penalties against gays, etc. We also expect those who believe the bill is constitutionally wrong to do what is right and go to court.”

Mr. Otchere-Darko encouraged Ghanaians to trust in the country's democracy, emphasizing the importance of citizens respecting Ghana's cultural norms.

“That is democracy! Our institutions of democracy are still strong and alive. Let's have faith in our democracy. Let's respect the choices we make and their consequences and believe in the process. Ghana remains a sovereign state, with cultural norms that cannot be wished away but must be respected.

“I still believe, though, that we can balance our traditional family values with our traditional values of tolerance and diversity. That's the Ghanaian way. The Ghanaian culture. The Ghanaian spirit. Our history. Our DNA. That is Ghanaian.”

-citinewsroom

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