We need to pass the LGBTQ test - Editorial Ghanaian Times 05-03-2024


We need to pass the LGBTQ test - Editorial Ghanaian Times 05-03-2024

One issue that is causing debates and almost dividing the world is sexual orientation, which is about who is attracted to who and wants to have relationships with.

Thus, we now have LGBTQ, which stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (or sometimes LGBTQ+ in which case the “plus” represents other sexual identities).

Since this sexual orientation became prominent in the 1990s, western countries have support­ed it as a human rights issue whereas conservatives like the Arabs, Chinese and Africans see it as unnatural and against their cultural values.

Thus, some countries have at­tempted to enact laws against it.

In spite of their own ac­ceptance and introduction of democracy, which calls for respect for the sovereignty of nations, western countries and their institutions do not seem to accept views and acts against LGBTQ+.

They are trying to impose it on poor nations especially be­cause of the financial assistance they give these nations.

On February 28, 2024, the country’s Parliament passed the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values (“Anti-LGBTQ”) Bill, which is awaiting the assent of the Pres­ident of the country, currently Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Ad­do.

Even before the President would assent to it, there is information that Ghana risks losing a total of $3.8 billion in the next five to six years from its development partners following the passage of the Anti-LGBTQ law.

For example, for 2024, Ghana will lose $600 million budget support and $250 million for the Financial Stability Fund. (See our story on page 9). The Ministry of Finance says this will negatively impact the country’s foreign exchange re­serves and exchange rate stabil­ity as these inflows are expected to shore up the country’s reserve position.

Much as we agree that west­ern financial assistance is critical to the socio-economic develop­ment of the country, we think the West and their institutions should acknowledge the cultural values of Ghanaians and assist them based on conditionalities that do not injure their values.

We think the tabling of legal issues against the LGBTQ+ law is appropriate but not the with­drawal of the law because it rep­resents the stance of generality of Ghanaians on the unnatural sexual orientation.

However, if the West insist on what they want to do, then we support the measures the Min­istry of Finance wants the gov­ernment to adopt to counter the situation, including engagement with conservative countries, including the Arab nations and China, to help trigger resources to fill in the potential financing gaps to be created through the withdrawal of financial support from the country’s development partners.

We also agree that the govern­ment should begin a structured engagement with local conserva­tive forces such as religious bod­ies and faith-based organisations to communicate the economic implications of the passage of the “Anti LGBTQ” law and build a stronger coalition and a framework for supporting key development initiatives that are likely to be affected.

We sometimes hear the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has exceeded its target.

Now is the real test moment for the GRA to prove its mettle in helping to fill the anticipated financial gaps.

It is also a test moment for the country to tell the world that “it is possible for other countries to wean themselves off assis­tance that come with western imposition”

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