Dr Lawrence Tetteh, an Evangelist, addressing participants in the media briefing. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY
Dr Lawrence Tetteh, an Evangelist, addressing participants in the media briefing. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY
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Assenting anti-gay bill: Lawrence Tetteh maps out one-man demo to Jubilee House 

 An international evangelist, Rev. Dr Lawrence Tetteh, has declared his intention to march to the Jubilee House, the seat of government, to demand an expedited assent to the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Act, 2024, popularly called the anti-gay bill.

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He said the legal processes stampeding Parliament from transmitting the bill to the presidency for assent after its passage on February 28, this year, and the silence of the voices of conscience, was inimical to the protection of the country's values.

Again, Rev. Dr Tetteh, who is the President of the Worldwide Miracle Outreach (WMO), called out the leadership of the religious community, saying that it was disheartening that religious clerics "with big titles and names" were dead silent on the anti-gay bill.

"I will march to the Jubilee House. I think it is about time we make politicians know that we voted them into power. The cowardice that Christian leaders and religious leaders have been reduced to is a shame and I am embarrassed by some of our clergymen.

"As much as we are interested in our titles; in the big titles; and who we are and how long we have served, I am yet to hear certain people speak against these manners. For me, that is a shame, and so it starts from my home too," he stressed.

The economist and clergyman stated this at a press conference held in Accra last Friday (May 10) as part of his 31-day National Prayer Rally on the theme "This Nonsense Must Stop".

Context

Parliament approved the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Act, 2024 on February 24, this year.

The act criminalises LGBTQ+ activities together with the promotion, advocacy and funding of such activities.

Per the Act, persons found guilty of LGBTQI activities could face a jail term ranging from six months to three years.

Additionally, those promoting and sponsoring the act could face a jail term between three to five years.

Although Parliament passed the Act, there is a fracas between the Executive and Legislative arms of government over the anti-LGBTQ+ bill as the President has indicated he would not receive the bill from Parliament as required by law until legal suits filed by some private citizens on the matter was determined by the courts.

Two private legal practitioners, Richard Dela Sky and Gender Activist, Dr Amanda Odoi, had filed separate suits seeking annulment of the bill and also injuncting Parliament from transmitting the bill to the Presidency as the law-making procedure requires.

Defiance

However, at the "This Nonsense Must Stop" press conference, Dr Tetteh stressed that it was important for all well-meaning Ghanaians, particularly religious leaders to mount pressure on the President to assent to the bill because LGBTQI was an affront to human dignity and the country's cherished values.

"The last thing any well-meaning Ghanaian would do is to condone homosexuality. The Bible tells us that it is an abomination. Sodom and Gomorrah became a victim because of homosexuality. How dare anyone condone and think it is a human rights issue?

"It is very sad that our political leaders are being distracted and playing politics with this issue, which is an abomination in the sight of God," he said.

He stressed that it was sad that religious leaders, traditional rulers, and all three arms of government allowed themselves to be distracted by an unnecessary legal battle, "while foreign diplomats dictate to us how to manage our nation in norms and how to manage our cherished values".

Dr Tetteh called for positive action by all Ghanaians to defend and protect the country’s values against infiltration by alien values.

"It starts from the clergymen; it starts from the religious clerics; it starts from the home of the Chief Iman; it starts from the Chairman of Christian Council; it starts from the Apostolic leaders; it starts from Apostolic fathers; it also starts from the Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans and the charismatic leaders. We have been too quiet," he stressed.

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