A fiery debate over Ghana’s anti-LGBTQI bill took place on a live broadcast, with the Executive Secretary of the National Coalition for Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values, Moses Foh-Amoaning, and Professor Emerita Takyiwaa Manuh of the concerned Ghanaian Citizens Opposing the Passage of the Anti-gay Bill, clashing over the proposed legislation.
The bill, also known as the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, has been described as “horrible” and “hate promoting” by opponents, while supporters argue it is necessary to address issues associated with homosexuality in the country.
The debate grew heated at times, with personal questions being asked, and Prof. Manuh urging lawmakers to either enforce or amend existing laws on homosexuality instead.
Mr Foh-Amoaning who was not in the studio but was called into the GTV Breakfast Show particularly took exception with comments by the learned Professor which appeared to question his pedigree as a lawyer.
However, Prof. Manuh later explained that she was rather referring to Dr Justice Appiah Kubi, a member of the Coalition who was in the studio to debate her.
“…Dr Appiah-Kubi, I will gloss over your gratuitous insults. Mr Foh-Amoaning is my junior at the bar, so you are not a lawyer and I am surprised. It’s a very poor piece of legislation, for you to say that I have not read the bill,” she said. When Mr Foh-Amoaning was called to contribute to the programme, he said being her junior at the bar was not relevant to the debate.
“In the best tradition of the bar, she says that I am her junior, so what? I wouldn’t have responded to this but that’s fine. I was called to the bar in 1990, almost 34 years ago, so if 34 years ago doesn’t mean anything at the bar then I don’t think that you have an appreciation of the best tradition at the bar,” he said. “By God’s grace, I was trained by one of the best lawyers this country has ever had. I don’t know what practices you have had, so what do you mean I am your junior, so what?”.
During the debate, Prof. Manuh who was called to the bar in 1977 argued for the bill which she described as “horrible” and “hate promoting” to be thrown out in its entirety. It got personal at times, with Mr Foh-Amoaning asking Prof. Manuh to disclose her sexual orientation, her marital status and her hometown.
The Professor said she was not going to reveal her hometown adding “…Your’e asking me for a lawyer, am I a gay or a lesbian myself. This is really for a lawyer very unimaginable, it is illogical. Whatever I am has nothing to do with the positions that I am making, I am making it as a human rights issue”.
She further urged Ghanaian lawmakers to rather enforce or amend the existing laws on homosexuality.
Mr Foh-Amoaning rejected her claims, arguing that the bill was fit for purpose and will address all the issues associated with homosexuality in the country. He said the bill has provisions to prevent the assault of alleged homosexuals and provide support, care, and treatment for homosexuals.