Catholic Bishops' Conference Suggests Conversion Therapy For LGBT Inmates

Catholic Bishops' Conference Suggests Conversion Therapy For LGBT Inmates

  • President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference says just putting LGBT people in prison not enough to eradicate the behaviour
  • He has suggested government put in place corrective treatment for them before releasing them back into society
  • Meanwhile, CSOs are demanding the President does not assent the bill into law

President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Reverend Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, has called for a reconsideration of the prison penalties prescribed for offences under the Proper Human Rights and Family Values Bill.

People who identify on the LGBT spectrum as well as those who are caught engaging in homosexual activities are liable to a maximum prison sentence of three years whereas those caught advocating for LGBT rights are liable to a maximum prison sentence of five years.

Catholic Bishops' Conference Suggests Conversion Therapy For LGBT Inmates
Collage of Rev Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi and LGBT flag. Source: Citinewsroom/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

According to him, imprisoning homosexuals would not wipe out homosexuality from Ghana; rather, it may lead to a greater festering of the behaviour in the country.

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This festering, he says, will happen in the prisons where homosexuals would be put together in prison cells and left, following their period of incarceration,t to their own devices.

He stated that these inmates following their period of incarceration would leave the prisons better "experts" in homosexuality than they entered, thus worsening the situation.

He says rather than just keeping them in prison, the government should put in place corrective measures aimed at reforming LGBT persons in order to prevent any further implosion of the behaviour.

“So if the government is going this way or if the parliament is going this way that is why we are suggesting that in the prison there, they should add more of the corrective and reformative measures,” he said in an interview on Citi FM.

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Parliament unanimously passes the Anti-LGBT bill

The Parliament of Ghana, on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 unanimously passed the Anti-LGBT bill.

This was despite earlier protests from the Effutu MP, Alexander Afenyo-Markin who had raised concerns about the custodial sentences imposed on offenders in the bill.

The bill will now be forwarded to President Akufo-Addo for his assent.

Ahead of the President’s decision, the lead proponent of the bill, Sam Nartey George has expressed optimism that Akufo-Addo would have no choice but to append his signature.

CSOs, International Community lash out at Parliament for passing the bill reported that 18 civil society organisations have threatened to go to the Supreme Court should President Akufo-Addo sign the anti-gay bill into law.

The CSOs argue the bill poses a significant threat to Ghana’s democracy and poses a danger to ordinary Ghanaians.

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Meanwhile, the United Nations, the UN State Department and the IMF have condemned the passage of the bill.

The US argues that should the bill become law, it will pose a public health threat to Ghanaians and promote violence against LGBT people and those perceived to be members of that community.

They have urged the President to veto the bill.

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