Ghana’s former Electoral Commissioner, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, has stated that it does not pass for same-sex marriage to be justified on the grounds of human rights.
According to a Daily Graphic Report sighted by GhanaWeb, the former EC boss, while underscoring provisions in the constitution that recognizes human rights noted that the scope of human rights has over the period been expanding.
“I am also aware that some of the factors we consider to be human rights today, such as the right to education, good drinking water and shelter, and the rights of women, workers and children, were not considered to be so in times past,” he states in a statement.
He however highlights that the spirit behind human rights protection is to improve the condition and perpetuation of the human race, and that same cannot be the grounds for justifying LGBTQ+ rights.
“However, if we look critically at the factors that have become part of the body of human rights, it is clear that their essence is the improvement of the human condition and the protection and perpetuation of the human race.
“So to say that something is a human right is to say that it is good for every human being to have it because it improves the quality and dignity of the human species,” he said.
Against his position, the former Electoral Commission Chairman has called for the setting of a benchmark that will be used in assessing what qualifies to be a human right. According to him, such a test should focus on issues of possibilities and implications.
“Let us apply this test to same-sex marriages in two scenarios. First, an only son decides to marry a man and an only daughter decides to marry a woman: the eventual possibility is the extinction of the family.
“Second, there comes a time when every man decides to marry another man and every woman decides to marry another woman: the eventual possibility is the extinction of the human race,” Dr Afari-Gyan said in his statement.
In the view of Mr Afari-Gyan, a sexual practice that holds any iota of possibility to drive the human race towards extinction could not be characterized as a human right.
“Rather, in the context of our Constitution, same-sex marriage may be considered a moral hazard of a kind from which the state has an obligation to protect its citizens, particularly children, from being exposed to,” he said.
Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan is the latest of many Ghanaian personalities who have added their voice to the ever-growing conversation about LGBTQ+.
A private member’s bill dubbed “The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021”, which criminalises Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) activities in Ghana is currently before the nation’s legislature.
The bill submitted to the house on August 3 is currently before Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
Before the Committee presents its report on the bill to the full house for a debate, there is widespread public pronouncement both for and against the bill being made across the country.
At the forefront of groups pushing for the passage of the bill are religious and traditional leaders.
While public support for the bill is relatively larger, a group of personalities in academia and other sectors have openly declared their opposition to the bill, describing it as hateful and detrimental to the promotion of human rights among others.