Ghanaian MPs form ‘Believers Against LGBT+’ alliance ahead of draconian bill attacking queer rights

Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah speaks at the National Prayer Rally on LGBTQI+

Lawmakers in Ghana have formed a “Believers Against LGBTQI+” alliance to push a brutally anti-LGBT+ bill through parliament, activists on the ground have said.

The cross-party group of 30 MPs is preparing a proposed bill that cruelly criminalises being LGBT+ even further.

It was announced at a prayer rally Sunday (21 March) organised by some of Ghana’s most influential faith organisations under the theme: “Homosexuality, a detestable sin to God.”

In Ghana, being LGBT+ is illegal and those found to have had consensual queer sex face three years in jail.

Lawmakers aim to table a bi-partisan private members before the end of the year that will strengthen these current laws. Among the MPs is Samuel Nartey George, who earlier this month shared details of the bill that aims to outlaw the “advocacy” of LGBT+ rights.

To rapturous applause, National Democratic Congress lawmaker Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, a member of the group, said “nobody has owned up” to being LGBT+ in parliament.

He described being queer as something “not of God and against our culture” and is an “end-time issue”.

“The speaker of parliament [Alban Bagbin] has graciously agreed to meet with us and the clergy [Tuesday morning] for us to kickstart the process of the private members bill,” he said in his speech.

“The speaker has given his full blessing and he will also have a breakfast meeting with the leaders to openly pronounce his judgement about the whole ‘LGBTQI’.

Bedzrah then claimed that a previous speaker of parliament, Aaron Mike Oquaye, has given him his “word that he will not allow this to fester in this land”.

This backing was fortified by Bagbin, who told Bedzrah he will “will not tolerate any law or permit anything that is against our culture”.

“Therefore, [Bagbin] has given his word that tomorrow when he meets with us he will tell us exactly how to proceed with the private members bill,” he added.

“I believe with this private members bill, anyone who has issues with himself will give the person to God. But if you want to promote it in Ghana, we leave it to the law to take its rightful cost.”

The rally was held at the Burma Camp Worship Centre auditorium of the Church of Pentecost in Accra, organised by major faith groups such as the Christian Council of Ghana and the National Association of Charismatic, among other places of worship.

The backbone of the group’s efforts to whittle away at what little rights LGBT+ Ghanaians have comes in the form of the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, a small but powerful cadre of religious conservatives.

According to the African Equality Centre, one of the group’s top officials and “Ghana’s biggest homophobe“, Moses Foh-Amoaning, is helping to draw up the bill. He is joined by the group’s chair, Opoku Onyinah, according to local media.

Leaders of the cross-religious association have operated so-called conversion therapy camps and launched a bitter campaign to have one of the country’s few LGBT+ spaces bulldozed and its member arrested.

The weeks-long outrage prompted president Nana Afuko-Addo to vow never to legalise marriage equality.