One of Ghana’s most powerful political leaders said that the LGBTQ “pandemic” is worse than the COVID-19 pandemic, and “it must be fought by all of us.” The remarks by Parliament Speaker Alban Babgin came on Tuesday during a morning prayer meeting as lawmakers introduced an anti-LGBTQ bill that would criminalize the “promotion, advocacy, funding and act of homosexuality in all its forms,” 76 Crimes reported. According to the human rights group Rightify Ghana, the proposed legislation — the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021 — was named after Ghana’s largest homophobic group, the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values. The bill was presented to Babgin by eight lawmakers earlier this week. One of them, Samuel Nartey George, wrote on Facebook that the “landmark legislation” is “in my humble opinion a world class piece of legislation which should be reference material for other Parliaments seeking to pass similar legislation.” Celebrating the legislation as a way to promote “proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values,” George claims that the bill — which directly attacks the rights of LGBTQ people — “respects the fundamental human rights of all persons.” “Let me be clear here,” he explains bluntly, “homosexuality is NOT a human right. It is a lifestyle choice. A sexual preference.” Rightify Ghana, which works in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country, said in a statement that, “our concern is that, access to HIV services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people will be severely affected by the anti-LGBTQ bill — further criminalizing LGBTQI people, organizations and activities as well as people who support them.” Rights of members of the LGBTQ community in Ghana, as well as their advocates, have been under constant attack in recent years, and the increasing hostility has worried human rights activists.
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