Sunday, July 23, 2023

Improper Human Rights: Ghana and Uganda

Tongue in cheek, that title.
There is this organisation in Ghana a promoter of ‘Proper Human Rights’. Apparently its promotion of proper human rights includes support of the anti-LGBTQ+ bill currently in Ghana’s parliament.
And Stephen Kaziimba, Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Anglican also had an interesting argument. As he whipped the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 he intimated that the LGBTQ+ agenda had corrupted ‘proper human rights’

Sarcasm over the top? No.
Dr Justine Appiah Kubi is an executive member of the Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values,  He
supports the Ghana anti-homosexuality bill,  the ‘Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2022’;.
A proud Ghanaian, he lauds the Ghanaian bill for being not as intolerant as the Ugandan law…, and bearing the beneficence and tolerance of Ghanaian culture.
(I am Ugandan…, I would agree as to Ugandan intolerance, if I didn’t know that at the moment there are reports of Ghanaian Kuchus being viciously attacked, stabbed in broad day light, on the streets of Accra, and Ghanaian twitterati championing the ‘straightening’.)

Says Justine Appiah Kubi;

“.., the bill is tolerant enough to ensure that no harm befalls individuals in the queer community, although Ghanaians might not condone LGBT and its activities.

This level of tolerance, Dr. Appiah-Kubi emphasised, is reflective of the Ghanaian culture.

Additionally, he described the bill as a good one, explaining that, “the spirit of the bill wasn’t necessarily to really hurt people who are into homosexuality, but really to prevent these absurd, LGBT things that are coming to nations and using political strategies, using UN, using the other CSOs” to champion their agenda.”


What do I know about Human Rights?

Actually I know very little. Surface stuff. It is human rights. Concerns human beings. And rights being what we believe human beings are supposedly entitled to. And rights imply responsibilities.

What does the Ghana’s anti-LGBTQ+ bill actually state? I posted what could be gathered from the media on Ghana’s bill.


·         Identifying as LGBT is criminalised. 3 years in prison.

·         Advocacy is criminalised. 10 years in prison
Campaigning for LGBT rights, dissemination of information

·         Conversion therapy (from LGBTQ to straight sexual orientation!) is validated.

·         limits provision of health services to the LGBTQ+ community. Including HIV services.

·         encourages citizens to report neighbours that are homosexual.


Last time looked into the mirror, I was a human being.
We are human beings, and as such, human rights do concern us. Personally, I would think that that is hard to parse.
Stephen Kaziimba, Archbishop is not convinced.

Here is what the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Anglican, Dr Steven Kaziimba Mugalu had to say, on at least 3 occasions, when he was whipping up pressure on the President to sign the bill into law.


“Homosexuality is currently a challenge because it is being forced on us by foreign actors against our will, against our culture, and against our religious beliefs. They disguise themselves as human rights activists but are corrupting real human rights by adding LGBTQI+ to their agenda,” he said.
he pre-Easter message from the Archbishop.


““They disguise themselves as “human rights activists,” but are corrupting real human rights by adding LGBTQI+ to their agenda.”
was the Easter Sunday summon, 2023


“being forced on us by outside, foreign actors against our will, against our culture, and against our religious beliefs. They disguise themselves as “human rights activists,” but are corrupting real human rights by adding LGBTQ to their agenda.”
lavish thanks to the President for signing the Bill into law.


So, what is the promotion of human rights with the exclusion of LGBTQ+ rights?
Now, that is the true head scratching moment.
Are Kuchus human? Are African LGBTQ+ people actual living human beings? Are they worth inclusion in the conversation about basic, inviolable rights that other human beings, other Africans, are entitled to?

Not rhetorical.
Ghanaian industrialist, William Mensah-Ansah was quite confused and confusing about the issue.
How do you protect individual human rights without recognising that LGBTQ+ Africans are actually individuals whose rights have to be protected?
He was confused, but advocates a common African position in the African Charter for African nations around the exclusion of rights for Kuchus. LGBTQ+ Africans.

Are Kuchus, LGBTQ+ Africans human enough to be included in the Human Rights that the rest of African human beings should enjoy? A profound question, because, in the African, Ugandan and Ghanaian and other context, LGBTQ+ rights are so ‘foreign’ that they cannot even think of rights for the homosexual. We have been thoroughly dehumanised, in their eyes. No longer human, it is okay to kill us, legally in the eyes of the law. Because we are inhuman.

Rhetorical flourishes those? I really, really wish it was so. But, my dear brothers and sisters, my fellow Africans, do not really think the LGBTQ+ human being is human, even our African-ness is debatable.



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