Catholic Bishops of Ghana have endorsed the draft bill currently before Parliament that is seeking to criminalise LGBTQ+ activities in the country.
The religious leaders say LGBTQ+ is “morally unacceptable”.
In a statement, the church, which boasts of having 13.1% of the country’s population as members, said it finds it necessary to state its position formally on the controversial issue of LGBTQ+.
“As a Church, we want this abominable practice made illegal in our country… The Bible, which is foundational to Christian beliefs and practices, condemns the practice,” the Catholic Bishops said, citing different references in the Bible.
The Catholic Bishops argued that although the inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is an “objective disorder” towards an intrinsic moral evil, adding that, the sexual behaviour of homosexual persons is not compulsive and so such persons can be blamed for their sexual acts.
“Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less
strong tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen
as an objective disorder… The Church rejects the unfounded and demeaning assumption that the sexual behaviour of homosexual persons is always and very compulsive and, therefore, they should not be blamed for
their homosexual acts.”
In spite of their stance against LGBTQ+ activities, the Catholic Bishops called for the rights of homosexuals to be respected, and their fundamental human rights protected.
They indicated that the rights alluded to include the right to life, personal liberty and due process of law; to freedom of thought, expression, religion, organization, and movement; to freedom from discrimination on the basis of race, religion, age, language, and sex; to basic education; to employment; and to property.
“Nevertheless, according to the Church’s understanding of human rights, the rights of homosexuals as persons do not include the right of a man to marry a man or of a woman to marry a woman. For the Church, this is morally wrong and goes against God’s purpose for marriage. We should also point out that the European Court for Human Rights has ruled that same-sex “marriages” are not considered a human right, making it clear that homosexual partnerships do not in fact equal marriages between a man and a woman. The ruling was announced 9th June 2016 in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France,” they said.
They added that “it is not right to subject homosexuals to any form of harassment simply because they are homosexuals. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law. Homosexuals must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity”.
The Catholic Bishops Conference becomes the latest large religious body in Ghana to endorse the anti-LGBTQ+ bill that has generated heated public debate.
The Church of Pentecost and other top clergymen in the country have also declared their support for the bill.