Honorable Samuel Nartey George, a Ghanaian lawmaker and lead member of the group pushing for a bill to prohibit the practice and promotion of LGBTQ+ in the country fumes over reports that, the US embassy in Ghana hoisted a flag in support of LGBTQ+ community. According to him, that action breaches the Ghanaian constitution.
The Member of Parliament who wondered why the United States did not muster courage to hoist the same flag in Saudi Arabia where the practice is illegal said, “because of the discussion on the passage of this bill, they are trying to make a grandstand position. It is needless showmanship because the US Embassy in Saudi Arabia has not hoisted a flag.”
Honorable Sam George further called on the Presidency to invite the US ambassador to explain why she took such action considered an affront to the laws of Ghana. “I will demand or expect the [Jubilee] House to instruct the Foreign Minister to summon the US Ambassador,” He said.
The current US ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie S. Sullivan hoisted the flag at the embassy located in Ghana in June. According to her, the action was to rally support for the LGBTQ+ community in Ghana. “We aim to increase the visibility of, and address the challenges faced by, the community as we stand against injustice toward not only women and girls and religious minorities but also toward members of the LGBTQI+ community,” the ambassador said.
She added further that, “Just as senior officials raised the Progress Flag for the first time at the State Department last Friday, I’m happy to invite you all to watch as we hoist the Pride flag in honor of the people we celebrate this month and as a symbol of our continued commitment to the human rights, dignity, and inclusion of all LGBTQI+ people.”
However, in an earlier interview, the lawmaker held the view that the actions of diplomats in Ghana relating to the LGBTQ+ issue does not only violate local laws but also a blatant disregard for international laws such as the Vienna Convention. “The Vienna Convention on Diplomacy states that diplomats must be respectful of the local laws of their host country. If the host country criminalizes, as it is today, homosexuality in our country, it is an affront to the sovereignty of this state hoisting an LGBTQ flag in our country.” He said on Metro TV.
A group of lawmakers in Ghana’s parliament, cutting across the two major political parties have introduced a bill regarding LGBTQ+ lifestyle. The 36-page document themed “The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021” aims to curb, not only the practice but also the promotion of LGBTQ+ which is already illegal in Ghana by clearly stating punishments including jail terms for those who engage in such practice.
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin who assured Ghanaians that, the bill will be passed as soon as possible also warned diplomats who keep promoting LGBTQ+ in the country against the laws of the country. “To those who have come to do business in Ghana, those who represent their countries and think that they are right. We also represent our country and they will never, they can never dictate to us as to how to live or not to live in this world and I am very clear in my mind that, this house, the parliament of Ghana will pass this bill as soon as possible.” The speaker said.