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Don’t criminalise LGBT – Cardinal Turkson on Bill in Ghanaian Parliament.

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Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson has said homosexuality and LGBT in general should not be a criminal offence and that people should be helped to understand the issue better.

“My position has simply been this, that LGBT, gay people may not be criminalised, because they’ve committed no crime, but neither should this position also become something to be imposed on cultures, which are not yet ready to accept stuffs like that,” he added.

Cardinal Turkson stated this in an interview on the BBC’s HARDtalk programme with Stephen Sackur, monitored by Graphic Online on Monday morning [Nov 27, 2023].

It is time to begin education, to help people understand what this reality, this phenomenon is. We need a lot of education to get people to make a distinction between what is crime and what is not crime,” he added.

His answer followed a question asked during the interview in relation to the bill currently in the Ghanaian Parliament seeking to impose stiffer punishment on LGBT practices in Ghana.

Cardinal Turkson had been asked, “You are Ghanaian, this summer, the Ghanaian Parliament passed, it is called the Appropriate sexual rights and family values at which a tougher regime for gay people clearly criminalises homosexuality in Ghana, up to 10 years in prison for LGBT… The Ghanaian Catholic Bishops Conference said that western countries must stop incessant attempts to impose unacceptable foreign cultural values on us. Are you backing that statement and therefore defending the criminalisation of homosexuality?

In his explanation, Cardinal Turkson reiterated that his position is contrary to what was in the Ghanaian Parliament.

“LGBT cases are not to be criminalised but neither, and this I think is basically what caused all of this in Ghana. The Ghanaian culture has known of people, with some such tendencies, and I say this because there is an expression in the local Akan language, that of mine, of men who act like women, and women who act like men, there is an expression for them, which means that this phenomenon has been known, was known in the culture and in the community and all of that.”

Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson who is seen by some as a candidate to become the first African Pope in about 1,500 years referred to the fact that in one of Ghana’s languages, Akan, there is an expression “men who act like women and women who act like men” and stressed that, that this was an indication that homosexuality was not an imposition from outside.

source by graphic news