Archbishop of Canterbury, others oppose Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill, pledge to engage with Archbishop of Ghana
The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and leader of the global Anglican church, Stephen Cottrell are among the few who are of the view that the current position of the Anglican Church of Ghana on homosexuality does not preach “God’s offer of unconditional love to every human being through Jesus Christ.”
Taking to Twitter on October 26, Archbishop Welby tweeted that he is “gravely concerned” about the said bill before Parliament that has received massive support from the Ghanaian populace.
He decried the stands of the Anglican Church of Ghana stating that “the majority of Anglicans within the global Anglican Communion are committed to upholding both the traditional teaching on marriage as laid out in the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution I:10, and the rights of every person, regardless of sexual orientation, before the law.”
I am gravely concerned by the draft anti-LGBTQ+ Bill due to be debated by the Ghanaian parliament. I will be speaking with the Archbishop of Ghana in the coming days to discuss the Anglican Church of Ghana’s response to the Bill.
My full statement: https://t.co/WcQMKzBseg
— Archbishop of Canterbury (@JustinWelby) October 26, 2021
He also noted this commitment goes to assure LGBTQ+ people that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.
“I remind our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church of Ghana of these commitments. We are a global family of churches, but the mission of the church is the same in every culture and country……” he added.
In view of this, Archbishop Welby revealed that in the coming days, he will engage with the Archbishop of Ghana over their recent condemnation of same-sex related activities.
Also, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell aside from describing the bill as “shocking and unacceptable” stated that as part of his support for the LGBTQ+ community, he will recall each member during his prayers.
I share the Archbishop of Canterbury’s concerns and support the action he is proposing. I am holding the LGBTQ+ community in Ghana and across the world in my prayers https://t.co/HfIqlGLjqZ
— Stephen Cottrell (@CottrellStephen) October 26, 2021
According to Archbishop of the Internal Province of the Anglican Church of Ghana, the church views the LGBTQI+ community as unrighteousness in the sight of God and will “therefore do anything within our powers and mandate to ensure that the bill comes into fruition.”
Most Reverend Dr Cyril Kobina Ben-Smith submitted that aside from the church’s condemnation of such acts, the values and customs of the Ghanaian society proscribe same-sex activities.
“We as a church assures that we will gladly open our counselling and support centres for the needed transformation services required by these persons or groups. We further advocate for intense education on the Human Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 to avoid acts of emotionalism and sentimentality by our members and the general public,” he added.
The Anglican Church of Ghana is not the only religious body to throw its weight behind the anti-LGBTQ+ bill that proposes that persons who engage in activities that “promote, support, express sympathy for or call for a change of public opinion towards an act prohibited under the Bill”, are liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years or not more than ten years.
The Presbyterian Church of Ghana has threatened to campaign against Members of Parliament who attempt to block the passage of the said Bill.
Chairman of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Eric Nyamekye earlier issued such threats.
The Adventist Church Unions in Ghana is of the view that “homosexuality in all of its manifestations is a perversion of the natural order of human sexuality. It is a sin, and as all other sins, those who practice it must be saved.”