Criminalising people's sexual orientation, as the bill in Ghana's Parliament does, is wasteful, cruel and unusual punishment contrary to the principles of liberty, justice and freedom for all.
Kwame Abrefah is an attorney in Edmonton, Canada.
The bill in Ghana's Parliament to criminalise same-sex relationships and to punish those who support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in the country has been gazetted, and public consultation will begin shortly. Regardless of the outcome of this bill in Parliament, the Supreme Court will ultimately be called upon to determine whether these persons are protected by the equality rights in the Constitution.
This article maintains that LGBT people in Ghana are entitled to the same basic human rights enshrined in the Constitution and must be treated with the same level of dignity, respect and consideration afforded to all Ghanaians. My aim, therefore, is to argue that the anti-LGBT bill before Parliament violates the equality rights of LGBT people. Further, the bill is a slippery slope; if left unchallenged and allowed to become law, it will undermine personal freedoms, autonomy and self-determination and ultimately erode the ideas of freedom and justice, which are the key tenets of a pluralistic and a democratic...