Presbyterian Church whips up enthusiasm on LGBTQ+ bill education

Tema, July 1, GNA – The Tema North District Ecumenical and Social Relations Committee, Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) has embarked on a series of education on the church’s position on the “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021”.

The Bill currently before Parliament and popularly known as anti-lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer, and its related activities (LGBTQ++) has an aim to restrict activities of the community and provide for protection of and support for children and persons who have become victims.

Mr Eric Bonsu Agyabeng, Chairman of the Tema North Ecumenical and Social Relations Committee, PCG, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Tema that the church found it expedient to educate its members on the bill and its stand on it.

Mr Agyabeng added that the church has already submitted a memorandum in support of the bill to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to make its stands known.

He indicated that to effectively sensitize the church, his committee was not only holding talks during church services but have also put down plans to engage the youth in the church separately to properly interact with them on the need to support the bill and reject activities of LGBTQ++.

Taking the members of the PCG- Redemption Congregation, Tema Community nine through the church’s memorandum in support of the bill, he said the support was two-fold – the preservation of Christian ideals and values, and the fulfilment of the provisions of the 1992 Constitution.

He indicated that the Church deemed it an obligation to support and promote any and everything that promotes Christian values and therefore stand up against any and everything that threatens Christian ideals and values.

According to him, PCG found the activities of the LGBTQ++ persons and their advocates a threat not only to Christian ideals and values but inimical to the very existence of the human race as the Bible chiefly taught that even though all things were lawful, not all things were helpful.

“As Christians, we are enjoined by human values and dignity consistent with the Holy Bible to lead expedient lives. The practice and promotion of the LGBTTQ++ is in complete conflict with the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“The Bible teaches thus “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Mark 10: 6-9, NKJV),” he said.

Mr Agyabeng stressed that the Bible was unequivocal in its teachings, thus, marriage, and by extension coital sex between a man and a woman, which he noted was the only natural way the human race could procreate and perpetuate, adding that to allow the activities of the LGBTQ++ to fester was to put the natural existence of the human race in danger.

He stated that it the values and ideals of Christianity on the issue were consistent with Ghanaian traditional values and ideals, as it was a taboo in traditional Ghanaian culture to commit incest, be a homosexual, and to practice bestiality.

“Therefore, a law prohibiting the activities of the LGBTTQ++ is consistent with both Ghanaian culture and Christian values, and the PCG lends its full support.”

Elaborating the PCG’s second reason for supporting the Bill, the Tema North District Chairman said it actualizes the intent of the framers of the 1992 Constitution, indicating that, currently, there was no specific legislation that imposes obligations on persons to promote sociocultural values in accordance with Article 39 of the Constitution.

He said the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) does not make specific reference to LGBTQ++ as its only prohibits “unnatural carnal knowledge”, therefore it was the ardent belief of the PCG that the passage of the Bill to deal with their was apt, as the time was due for Parliament to actualize the intentions of the framers of the Constitution by providing a legal framework for the promotion of the values that define the nation.

Mr. Agyabeng further said the church in its memorandum also suggested to Parliament to reconsider some of the proposed punishments which the Church said appeared too lenient indicating that even though Christians believe in mercy and forgiveness, they equally have the belief that punishments were mean a t as a deterrent not only for the offender but also for others who might harbour similar intent.

He explained that it was the considered opinion of the PCG, that any offense committed under the Bill should not attract an equivalent jail term of fewer than three years.

He also said the Bill does not specifically state how foreign diplomats who were engaged in the promotion of LGBTQ+ should be dealt with, therefore the recommendation from the PCG for specific reference to be made to how they would be dealt with under the law.