A senior member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) based in the United States, Arthur Kobina Kennedy, has alleged that some MPs have been denied visas to travel abroad following the introduction of the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill to Parliament.
In a piece titled: ‘Tolerance and the Debate about Homosexuality in Ghana’, he stated that the strong support the bill enjoys from the religious groups has been met with stiff opposition from intellectuals, government officials, and the diplomatic corps who fear the bill would endanger the lives of LGBT community members.
“Indeed, I wish, in the words of the sages, we had ‘allowed sleeping dogs to lie’. The homosexual community, in my view, were doing fine, in their private spaces, subject to the protections of the law accorded to all citizens,” he said.
He argues that the most appropriate action to have been taken concerning the activities of the LGBTQ+ community in the country was to tolerate them.
“Unfortunately, the opposition to the bill, motivated by the noble desire to promote tolerance for our homosexual community, has been characterized by intolerance,” he added.He further expressed concern about the threats proponents of the bill have faced since the introduction of the bill.
“Some lawmakers, including the bill’s sponsor, Sam George have been threatened publicly and privately. Calls have been made to the Speaker, threatening MPs. Some have been denied visas and warned to stay away from this issue. It is sad that this intimidation is coming mainly from the Western diplomatic community.”
Meanwhile, he has urged that the country exercises tolerance for the LGBT community and other social minorities at large.
“As JFK put it, ‘Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather, it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.’”
He advised that the Ghanaian citizenry be encouraged and sensitised to tolerate minority groups.
He stated that “The problem of this bill is not the Parliament. It is reflecting public opinion. So let us continue to educate the public.
“Finally, to Parliament, continue this new attitude, by championing the interest of the public for Healthcare, jobs and for fighting the canker of corruption.”
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