14 Oct Anti-LGBTQ bill: Churches willing to bear financial cost of prosecuting culprits – Foh-Amoaning
Christian religious groups in the country are ready to take up any financial cost that may be incurred by the state in the prosecution of members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.
This is according to private legal practitioner and lead advocate against LGBTQ+ rights in Ghana, Moses Foh-Amoaning.
He says that church leaders pushing for the passage of the Proper Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, also known as the anti-LGBT+ Bill, have told him about their readiness to take up such a cost if the need arises.
This comes in response to an argument from some professionals who are calling for the withdrawal of the Anti-LGBT+ Bill from Parliament.
These professionals who are from various fields including law and academia, among other things, say that the country’s constitution does not permit any private members’ bill that makes provision for the imposition of a charge on the Consolidated Funds or other public funds of Ghana.
But Lawyer Foh Amoaning says that such an argument is baseless.
“That’s a joke…if it’s the cost of imprisoning and prosecutorial powers, the church has been building prisons for the state. The leaders have told me that if that becomes an issue, they would pay for it. The whole prosecutorial process can be quantified and the church can pay for it,” he said in an interview on Accra-based Metro TV.
That notwithstanding, Lawyer Amoaning says that the professionals pushing for the withdrawal of the Bill are misinterpreting the law.
He explained that: “Those involved in the passing of the Private Members Bill, including Prof. Prempeh know that the interpretation of ‘significant cost to the State’ was interpreted to mean levies and taxes.”
“In fact, in the document that was submitted to parliament, Prof. Prempeh himself admits that as far as he is concerned, that is not an issue for him,” he added.
Many people have waded into the controversial debate of whether or not LGBT+ activities in the country should be criminalized.
The anti-LGBT+ Bill, sponsored by some Members of Parliament, when passed, will see people of the same sex who engage in sexual activity being fined or serving a jail term between three to five years.
The Bill is also proposing punishment for LGBT+ advocacy.