Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said every human being, including people of the LGBTQ+, is created of God and has God’s image in them and, so, he finds it “difficult” that people’s sexuality should be criminalised as Ghana’s anti-LGBTQ+ bill seeks to do.
Speaking on Metro TV Mr Ofori-Atta said: “It’s a very complex issue and really, for me, it’s quite kind of biblical, in a sense, which says that God created us in His own image – now whether it’s man or woman, it’s a different issue”.
“So, in each person is God’s image. I can’t begin, therefore, to make judgments on the person”, he told Paul Adom-Otchere on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana programme on Thursday, 18 November 2021, adding: “I may not like what I may determine to be a sin but as long as God’s image is in that person – and I know that thief or whoever was forgiven in the last minute on the cross – so, for me, I guess I find it difficult on the issues of criminalisation when I know all of us are born in the image of God”.
“My challenge is to evangelise what I believe is the way God wants you to be but that’s the challenge for me, not to criminalise”, he noted.
In his view, Ghana cannot make laws based on anecdotal assumptions that Ghanaians abhor LGBTQ+ sexuality.
“We can’t work on assumptions when somebody is going to make a law … we all have been to secondary schools, we’ve been to boarding schools; we know what happens in markets, so, this whole escalation, for me, is interesting, as to: is this the nature that Ghanaians deal with problems of this nature? I don’t think so”, he observed.
“I think there’s a way Ghanaians deal with these things and I pause when I remember that everyone has God’s image in them and it’s my challenge to bring them onto the levels that I uphold … and I think was it Bishop Tutu [who said] that he’ll fight this whole criminalisation of gays with the same energy that he used to fight apartheid because you’re creating a certain sense of a human being that he’s not, who has God’s image in him and I also don’t know what people do in their bedrooms, so, to pretend that because I’m holding a man’s hand in the street, I can be imprisoned and when we go to prison where do they put me; in the women or men’s cell? I don’t know”, Mr Ofori-Atta argued.
He said though “I haven’t even read the bill”, “it just strikes me that the discussions are going along the wrong way; that’s how I feel deeply about the question of love”.