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Ghana’s Anglican bishops support draconian anti-gay bill

Ghana’s Anglican bishops support draconian anti-gay bill

The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill proposes that anyone who identifies as gay or transgender face imprisonment for up to five years and anyone who promotes or supports non-straight sexual identities be locked up for up to 10 years. It also includes requirements to denounce “suspects”. – The Telegraph


The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in Ghana has issued a statement in support of the anti-gay bill before Ghana’s parliament. If passed, The Telegraph says it could be the toughest anti-gay legislation in the world. The bill includes sentences of 5 years for homosexuals and 10 years for allies of homosexuals. Parliament’s debate is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, does not appear to have reacted yet to the Ghana bishops’ statement. He has spoken out against deeply anti-gay statements by Anglican bishops in the past.

Ghana is within the Province of West Africa which encompasses seven West African countries. The Province is not associated with the conservative Gafcon movement; only one diocese in Ghana is a member branch of the movement — the Diocese of Sunyani which is a companion to the Diocese of Los Angeles.

Press Release

We, the House of Bishops representing the Anglican Church, Ghana (Internal Province of Ghana) have thrown our weight behind the anti-gay (LGBTQI+) Bill currently before the House of Parliament, Ghana. Our support is borne out of the belief that LGBTQI+ “is unbiblical and ungodly”.

We see LGBTQI+ as unrighteousness in the sight of God and therefore will do anything within our powers and mandate to ensure that the bill comes into fruition.

We further state that, aside Christianity, the Ghanaian tradition and culture do not permit such act. This is about morality today and that of the future generation yet unborn. We as leaders must leave a legacy everyone will be proud of. Christ- like legacy of hope. It will be recalled that earlier on in the year, (28th February 2021) during the enthronement of His Grace, the Most Reverend Dr. Cyril Kobina Ben-Smith as Archbishop of the Internal Province of Ghana, at the Cathedral Church of St. Michael and all Angels, AsanteMampong, His Excellency the President of Ghana in no uncertain terms, condemned this unholy act.

The Anglican Church, Ghana sees this homosexual practice as an act condemned by scriptures both in the Old and New Testaments. Leviticus 20:13 clearly declares that, a male lying with a fellow male is an abomination and punishable by death. Similarly, in the New Testament, Paul speaks of homosexuality as “contrary to sound doctrine” as recorded in 1 Timothy 1:10 ‘for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine’ It must be noted in our earlier declaration that, the church does not condemn persons of homosexuality tendencies but absolutely condemn the sinful acts and activities that they perform.

We therefore appeal to our members and the public not to embark on any form of harassment, intimidation, hostilities etc. on individuals or groups associated with LGBTQI+ but rather, see them as potential souls to be won for Christ.

We as a church assures that, we will gladly open our counselling and support centres for the needed transformation services required by these persons or groups. We further advocate for intense education on the Human Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 to avoid acts of emotionalism and sentimentality by our members and the general public.

We will consistently urge our members and the general public to join the church as it prays towards eliminating any impediments towards the realization of the bill. We are hopeful that the House of Parliament will listen to the cry of many Ghanaians who are anxious to see the bill passed. May God continue to bless our beautiful homeland Ghana and free us from all forms of unrighteousness.

#END


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Rev. Laurel Coote

My heart breaks for the narrowness of heart and mind proclaimed here. How easy it is to rationalize one’s own fears and insecurities in the name of God, in the taking of power over. How much harder is it to follow Jesus’ teachings: to love your neighbor as you’re self. The Lord’s proclamation, to me, supersedes the words of Paul, and set the standard for our Christian and moral duty to love. To love and honor all people. Sitting in the mystery of God’s creation and choosing to love and respect each person for who they know themselves to be and are, especially when they are different than we are, is an invitation of the Spirit. One that, if accepted, has the power to transform and enrich our lives and communities. Might we leave the judgment to God, and spend our time and energy in love?

Willis Paul

AS is mentioned in other comments, there is no apparent appreciation of biblical context in this (warped) theology. Weaponising bible texts to judge is not at all connected to good news, but largely premised upon misplaced judgements of right and wrong. I’m tired of this binary interpretation of scripture, and of the abusive cruelty, couched in the passive aggressive stance of statements like, ‘love sinner/hate sin’, that so often ensues. My recurring, deeply held theological question is, ‘where is God not?’. But I do wonder where God is to be found within the thinking of the leadership of the Anglican Church, Ghana, in proposing this strangely entitled ‘Human Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021’.

[…] — This week, the Anglican Church in Ghana urged the government to get on and pass the anti-LGBTQI Bill. The Bill calls for the imprisonment of LGBTQI activists and those who show public displays of […]

mikethecanon

The photograph of their bishops so clearly united and looking so pleased with themselves is horribly instructive. I notice that although they they stop short of calling for the death penalty in the legislation and encourage their people not to take matters into their own hands, it will scarcely be a surprise if LGBTI+ communities experience the full brunt of physical violence from fellow Christians in Christ’s name. The persecution and scapegoating of those we see as less than human is the laziest route to power and the greatest sign of insecurity. This will also pose a nice little challenge to our own bishops as they embark on the next cautious chapter of the LLF process.

Father Ron Smith

This is an apalling mis-judgement of the real situation of intrinsically gay or trans people – not only in the Church but in every society. One remembers the judgement of Jesus on the Pharisees, who were about to stone to death a woman who had been seen to transgress their Laws: “Which of you has not sinned, let (him) cast the first stone”. Simply being gay or trans is not a misdemeanour worthy of harsh punishment. It is a part of creation as God has made it. The Bishops of Ghana here, and the Bishops of GAFCON should be very careful of committing blashphemy against our Creator God – Who loves all whom God has created: “Vengeance is mine” says the Lord; “I will repay”.

I really think the time has come for the GAFCONITES to separate themselves from the Gospel Community of the worldwide Anglican Communion – those of us who follow the command of Jesus to Love one another “as Christ loved us”.

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