It is regrettable to note that since the Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill has been passed into law in the Ghanaian parliament and the wonderful allocution of the Christian prime Minister to the United Nations, the Ghanaian president has remained hesitant to append his signature on this bill. There have been multiple pressures from various quarters but the president has remained adamant. This time, Religious Orders in Ghana have added their voices by Urging the President to Sign into Law an Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill. One will be forced to believe that the president will finally listen to these voices.  

the Correspondent of RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA based in Accra, the political capital of Ghana reported that Members of the Conference of Major Superiors of Religious – Ghana (CMSR-GH) have urged the President of the West African nation to sign into law the new Bill that makes identifying as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer or Questioning plus (LGBTQ+) illegal in the country, with a prison sentence of up to three years for those found guilty.

In their first bi-annual meeting for the year 2024 that concluded on March 15, CMSR-GH weighed in on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, which Ghana’s parliament passed on February 28.

The Bill that is awaiting President Nana Akufo-Addo’s assent to become law also criminalizes the “willful promotion, sponsorship, or support of LGBTQ+ activities” in Ghana; anyone convicted of forming, advocating for, or funding LGBTQ groups risks a jail term of up to five years.

The Bill is the very nerve of ethics and morality and impacts the family unit in Ghana in a key manner, the members of CMSR-GH said in a statement that their President, Fr. Paul Saa-Dade Ennin, delivered at the end of their five-day.

“As Consecrated persons, we add our voices to that of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference and other bodies in urging the President to sign the recently passed Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values bill into law,” they said, alluding to the November 17 and December 11 collective statements of the members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC), as well as the March 4 statement of the Africa Christian Professionals Forum (ACPF).

CMSR-GH members drawn from the Major Superiors of men and women Religious Orders of the 71 Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life in Ghana added, “While respecting the constitutional rights of all citizens and all those who live and visit Ghana to freedom of choice and association and their privacy, issues of public ethics and morality, especially in what touches the family, have always occupied a special place in common legislation.”

“The family, derived from the sexual partnership of male and female, is the bedrock and foundation of any society and should be protected and promoted. We therefore add our voice to the numerous calls for the government to sign the bill into law,” they said, underscoring the need for President Akufo-Addo to sign the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill into law.

According to BBC News, President Akufo-Addo said he would assent to the Bill “if the majority of Ghanaians want him to.”

Meanwhile, members of CMSR-GH have called for peace during the electioneering period in Ghana, where general elections are scheduled for December 7.

In their collective statement following their March 11-15 first bi-annual meeting for the year 2024, CMSR-GH has urged political candidates to “play by the rules” and to avoid incidences that could potentially lead to violence and loss of lives.

“Even as we pray for peaceful, free, and fair elections, we want to reiterate the calls of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference for all stakeholders to play by the rules,” they say, referring to the Pastoral Letter for Lent 2024 that was published on February 13, GCBC members urging the Christian electorate to “actively participate” in voting for a President and representatives in Ghana’s Parliament.

CMSR-GH members emphasize the need for peace during the electioneering period, saying, “It is the sovereign right of the people of Ghana to decide who should govern them and no one should do anything that will thwart or distort this right of the people.”

Referring to the outcomes of their March 11-15 meeting at the Arnold Janssen Spirituality Center that was organized under the theme, “Consecrated Life and Collaborative Ministry in the local church”, they say, “We singled out for special mention violence before, during and after the elections.

“No one must lose his or her life in the exercise of his/her constitutional right to vote to determine who governs him/her. And every vote must count and be counted,” CMSR-GH members have said

They have called on the electorate in Ghana to be on the lookout for “any person or group of persons that are prepared to kill in the pursuit of power”, saying that such a person or group can neither be trusted nor be entrusted with power.

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