A humanist, who says she is an ally of the LGBTQI+ community, has complained about the proposed criminalisation of the use of sex toys by the proposed anti-LGBTQI+ Bill.
“You can’t even use sex toys when you’re having sex”, the Organising Secretary of The Humanist Association of Ghana, Ms Angela Adatsi, complained on Talk of the Nation on Class91.3FM on Monday, 26 July 2021.
The private members’ bill is being championed by eight members of parliament, namely;
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Sam George (MP, Ningo-Prampram)
Della Sowah (MP, Kpando)
Emmanuel Bedzrah (MP, Ho West)
John Ntim Forjour (MP, Assin South)
Alhassan Suhuyini (MP, Tamale North)
Rita Sowah (MP, La Dadekotopon)
Helen Ntoso (MP, Krachi West)
Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor (MP, South Dayi)
The 36-page document is to ensure proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values; proscribe LGBTQ+ and related activities; proscribe propaganda of, advocacy for or promotion of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and related activities; provide for the protection of and support for children, persons who are victims or accused of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and related activities.
Among other things, the bill says people of the same sex who engage in sexual intercourse are “liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than seven hundred and fifty penalty units and not more than five thousand penalty units, or to a term of imprisonment of not less than three years and not more than five years or both.”
It covers any person who “holds out as a lesbian, a gay, a transgender, a transsexual, a queer, a pansexual, an ally, a non-binary or any other sexual or gender identity that is contrary to the binary categories of male and female.”
Ms Adatsi, however, said that a “few days after I read the bill, I was in shock and I needed a few days to actually sit down and gather my thought about the whole bill because it is embarrassing”.
“The entire bill is absolutely embarrassing that I feel embarrassed for the politician or MPs whose names are under that bill…the amount of embarrassment these lawmakers have brought to the country, I was in shock because not only does this bill criminalise advocacy or all members of the LGBT [community] but even against heterosexuals as well. It even criminalises free speech, which is a problem if you’re trying to build a democracy. This is a serious embarrassment for our country and for our democracy as well.”
She noted that as humanists, they have a responsibility to support the LGBT community and ensure that “we advocate” their concerns “so that their plight will be heard”.
“So, as an ally, I feel threatened”.
“This bill seeks to criminalise all efforts by allies to support members of the community to actually talk and educate the public, so, this bill is really dangerous in every aspect and every capacity”.
Asked if the humanists will make any input into the bill for consideration, Ms Adatsi said: “I think the bill should be thrown out”.
“I don’t see any part of the bill that could be amended that could help the LGBT community in any way”.
“In essence, I don’t even see why we need a law to criminalise LGBT activities. I don’t see why we need a law that polices two consenting adults and what they do in their bedroom, so, I don’t see the need for any law”.