Gays should not be imprisoned – Catholic Bishops

Most Reverend Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, president of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference says imprisoning gays won't stop homosexuality

Following the passage of the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Family Values bill into law on Wednesday, February 28, fresh calls have emerged for its reformation. The law will punish gays and all forms of homosexuality in the country. One of the religious groups that backed the passage of the bill is the Catholic Bishops Conference.

However, a day after the bill which is popularly referred to as the anti-gay bill was passed, the Catholic Bishops are calling for its reforms. President of the Catholic Bishops Conference Most Reverend Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi has stated that imprisonment is not a solution to stopping homosexuality.

Speaking in an interview with Umaru Sanda on Citi Eyewitness News on Thursday, February 28, the Bishop of the Sunyani Catholic Diocese said putting them in the same prisons will guarantee that they will continue the act while in custody.

“We think that in the case of this particular law and the way it is being implemented, being placed in prison as the punishment that they have chosen, it is not going to solve the problem. Because you see if you round up same-sex people and you know our prisons, they are going to end up in the same room and what is going to prevent them from going through these activities in the prison?” he asked.

According to him the mode of punishment may rather produce experts gays than deter people. He said when culprits are imprisoned and they spend the prison time together they may end up perfecting their art and would come out more dangerous.

“You are not going to put them there forever because they are going to be there for three months to six months….Then they practice this and come out as more experts at it than when you sent them there. Then you release them back into society. What is going to happen?”

Most Rev. Gyamfi added that because of the possible consequences, the Catholic Bishops think there should be other forms of punishment for gays other than imprisonment. He said more reformative punishments would do better than time in prison.

“That is why we were concerned about a punishment that will correct them, that will reform them. So if the government is going this way or if the parliament is going this way that is why we are suggesting that in the prison there, they should add more of the corrective and reformative measures,”

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