The Group of 18 renowned lawyers and academics have debunked claims that homosexuality constitutes a public health threat.
According to the Group, the claim by proponents of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values 2021 bill and their supporters are simply twisting facts to serve their purpose.
They explained that the claim is simply a last resort by the proponents and supporters of the bill to find a public health justification.
“In the first place, the 18.1% is not a percentage of all people living with HIV/AIDS, as some of the main spokespersons for the Bill have misinformed Ghanaians.
“The 18.1% in fact refers to the percentage of a limited number of men who have sex with men who were tested and screened in a survey by the Ghana Aids Commission,” they explained.
The Group further explained that the true inference of the statistic as carried out by the Ghana AIDS Commission was to ensure that all persons despite sexual orientation receive the necessary sexual health education and care as was necessary.
“We wish to stress that the higher prevalence rates of HIV//AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among men who have sex with men, and commercial sex workers, for example, has much to do with the fact of having multiple sexual partners, a risk that occurs also among heterosexual persons who engage in risky sexual behaviors,” they said.
They added that “Given this reality, the appropriate public policy intervention is not a law that singles out LGBTQ+ persons or their activities for criminalization. Rather, it is to ensure that all potentially sexually active persons, LGBTQ+ or heterosexual, are provided adequate and appropriate education on responsible sexual behaviour, as well as access to sound medical advice and care.”
They further pointed out that criminalization has been an ineffective and counter-productive tool in controlling the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
“Being inclusive reduces stigma and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, as it allows its members to access appropriate medical care, education, and support that will, in turn, promote the health and well-being of the wider population.
“Thus, contrary to what the sponsors of the Bill and their supporters claim, far from this Bill promoting public health and safety, if passed into law, it will undermine the progress that medical doctors and specialists and CSOs in the field have made over the years,” the Group stated.
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