Poverty shouldn’t be an excuse to refuse assenting to anti-gay bill –Catholic Bishops Conference to gov’t

Story: News Desk 

The Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops Conference, Reverend Father Clement Kwasi Adjei, has advisedPresident Akufo-Addo to ignore any attempts by external bodies to dictate whether or not to assent to the anti-LGBTQ+ bill.

According to him, although the country depends on external support from bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, he [the President] should not be influenced into making a decision that Ghanaians do not support.

Speaking to the media  he said “this financial assistance, it is a grant or a loan. In fact when I follow the discussions going on what I get is that because Ghanaians are poor and we are going out for financial assistance, you want to just strangle us .

“Something we don’t want as Ghanaians, you want to use your money just to prevent us from doing it. LGBTQ we don’t want it. Ghanaians don’t want it. Majority say they don’t want it; about 98.5% we don’t want it.

“Is this what the UN is actually standing for? I don’t think so. Yes, we are ready to engage government to explain certain things to us.

“We also put forward our ideas and our understanding, but I still hold that poverty should not be used to let somebody succumb to the will of the other. That is what I have to say,” he said.

Rev. Adjei added that he doubts the IMF and the World Bank would cease to support the nation just because it had passed legislation against the practice of same-sex marriage. 

“I don’t think because we have agreed to ban LGBTQ+ practices and so on, the UN, IMF and World Bank will not help us. I don’t think so. Maybe they are using it to terrify us. To put fear in us, I don’t think so,” he added.

Rev Adjei added that the Catholic Bishops Conference still stood by the decision for the President to assent to the bill.

On Monday, March 4, the Finance Ministry issued a statement cautioning the President to refrain from signing the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill into law.

According to the ministry, such an action could lead to severe repercussions on the country’s financial support from international organisations like the Bretton Woods institutions.

The statement highlighted concerns that the expected US$300 million financing from the First Ghana Resilient Recovery Development Policy Operation (Budget Support), currently awaiting Parliamentary approval, might not be disbursed if the bill is signed into law.

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