Archbishop of Canterbury speaks out against Ghana anti-LGBTQI+ bill


The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby says that the anti-LGBTQI+ bill in Ghana is concerning

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has criticised the Anglican Church of Ghana for publicly supporting that country’s horrific anti-LGBTQI+ bill.

In a statement, the symbolic global Anglican head said he is “gravely concerned by the draft anti-LGBTQ+ Bill due to be debated by the Ghanaian Parliament.”

Welby revealed that he “will be speaking with the Archbishop of Ghana in the coming days to discuss the Anglican Church of Ghana’s response to the Bill.”

He pointed out that while the global Anglican Communion does not support same-sex marriage, it opposes legislation that outlaws same-sex relationships or sexuality.

“On numerous occasions, the Primates of the Anglican Communion have stated their opposition to the criminalisation of same-sex attracted people: most recently, and unanimously, in the communiqué of the 2016 Primates’ Meeting,” Welby stated.

He added that the Anglican Communion had “also made a commitment ‘to assure [LGBTQ+ people] that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.”

Earlier this month, the House of Bishops representing the Anglican Church in Ghana said in a statement that “[we] have thrown our weight behind the anti-gay (LGBTQI+) Bill currently before the House of Parliament, Ghana.”

The bishops added: “Our support is borne out of the belief that LGBTQI+ ‘is unbiblical and ungodly’. We see LGBTQI+ as unrighteousness in the sight of God and therefore will do anything within our powers and mandate to ensure that the bill comes into fruition.”

While the church went on to urge the public to not “embark on any form of harassment, intimidation [or] hostilities” against LGBTQI+ people, it also asserted that “Leviticus 20:13 clearly declares that, a male lying with a fellow male is an abomination and punishable by death.”

If passed, the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill will not only criminalise all LGBTQI+ people but will also make it illegal to advocate for LGBTQI+ rights in any way with up to ten years in prison.

The bill, which had its first reading in Parliament in August, further outlaws any medical gender affirmation treatment, gay adoption and same-sex marriage, as well as banning any transgender person from getting married.

Under Ghana’s Criminal Code, consensual same-sex sexual relations are already criminalised with up to three years in prison.

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