Backing off of its full-throated support for the anti-LGBTQ bill before Ghana’s parliament, the Anglican bishops of Ghana now say the bill is severe and should be revised. Their statement comes months after the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke in November 2021 for Ghana’s bishops:
“In response to the point made by the chair of the Business Committee, I wanted to make a couple of comments about the situation in our relations with the Anglican Church in Ghana. As I said in my first statement [link in the original; not referenced is his second statement on the matter which included an apology for the first statement] on the matter – which still stands – homophobia, including the criminalisation of LGBTQ+ people is always wrong in any context. Lambeth 1.10 1998 makes this very clear, as do various communiques by the Primates since then. Additionally, and importantly in this matter, while not condoning same-sex marriage, the Anglican Church in Ghana does not condone the criminalisation of the LGBTQ+ community.
The statement by Ghana’s Anglican bishops does not appear to be available online. The Church Times, however, has seen the statement, and published much of it. After confirming their November conversation with the ABC the statement continues,
“We agreed that, though human dignity is always dominant, LGBTQI+ activities are frowned upon by the Ghanaian ethnicity and therefore, traditions, values, cultural and social frameworks must not also only be regarded but, respected and appreciated.
“Nevertheless, Ghanaian citizens must not use the bill as an avenue to assault persons with homosexual orientation but show love to them as the Church of Jesus Christ is called to demonstrate the love of God by protecting all vulnerable people and groups. Acts of harassment, intimidation, and hostilities against LGBTQ+ people should be condemned.
“We affirm and are committed to the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10 in its entirety. For us, this represents the last and most widely accepted statement by the Anglican Communion on the question of human sexuality.
“We further agree that, the criminalization of sections of the bill are severe and must be reviewed. Rather we propose a transformational agenda.
“Generally, we, as a Church in Ghana, seek to strengthen Ghanaian family life by promoting Human Sexual Rights that is supported and accepted by Ghanaian family values.”
Their assertion — that “1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10 … represents the last and most widely accepted statement by the Anglican Communion on the question of human sexuality” — is incorrect. Lambeth Conference does not make statements for the Anglican Communion.