SDA Church in Ghana Reaffirms Support for LGBTQ+ Criminalization
- Ghanian SDA church in support of bill that would prohibit the practice of same-sex sexual activity in any form.
- Some academics and industry professionals in Ghana have raised concerns about the tone of the bill, describing it as hostile and discriminatory.
- The official Adventist church statement on Church-State relations reads: “When Adventists become leaders or exert influence in their wider society, this should be done in a manner consistent with the golden rule.”
8 November 2021 | According to the website AllAfrica.com, the Adventist church leadership in Ghana has reaffirmed its support for those opposing the legalization of LGBTQ+ activity, and is advocating for the criminalization of same-sex sexual activity in the country. The report said that the Church appealed to Parliament to pass a bill to prohibit the practice of same-sex relations in any form.
Thomas Techie Ocran, president of the Southern Ghana Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, said in the article that the church upholds “the Biblical view that homosexuality in all its manifestation was a perversion of the natural order of human sexuality.”
Said Ocran in a statement given to the The Ghanaian Times in late October:
“The question is will the Adventist Church support a legislation that criminalises the act? Our answer is yes. Why? All forms of sin must be controlled and restrained by laws,.… We want the Bill passed into law because all sins left unchecked will plunge the earth into chaos. God in love gave humanity the 10 commandments and other laws to guide and save humanity from destruction.”
Ocran told the Times that laws were “redemptive tools intended for restoring the dignity of humans who were created in the image of God, and as such, their dignity and values must remain intact.”
The church originally called for this legislation in February 2021, and in a meeting with the Speaker of Parliament in August 2021, Ocran reaffirmed the church’s support against legalizing LGBTQ+ lifestyle or activity in Ghana.
Some academics and industry professionals in Ghana have raised concerns about the tone of the bill, describing it as hostile and discriminatory, according to an article on the news site myjoyonline.com
Interestingly, while the Adventist church’s official statement on Same-Sex unions does uphold marriage as “a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving companionship,” it also clearly states: “We do not condone singling out any group for scorn and derision, let alone abuse.”
Moreover, the Adventist church’s official statement on Church-State relations says, “Freedom of religion can only exist in the context of the protection of the legitimate and equal rights of others in society.”
The Church-State statement also explicitly says, “Adventists should not, however, become preoccupied with politics,” and that “when Adventists become leaders or exert influence in their wider society, this should be done in a manner consistent with the golden rule,” (see Matt. 7:12: “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.”)
However, the comments made by Ocran are in line with recent statements made by other Adventist church leaders. In particular, General Conference (GC) of Seventh-day Adventists President Ted Wilson said at last month’s 2021 GC Annual Council, “Adultery, fornication, and LGBTQIA+ are in direct opposition to God’s law and heavenly plan for human sexuality. We must make a conscious choice, even though unpopular, to speak up for Bible truth and not simply go along with societal trends.”
Moreover, the Ghana Adventist Church is not the only religious organization backing the bill. The myjoyonline.com article mentioned there is huge support for the passage of the bill by the Christian community, with the Anglican Church, the Methodist Church and the Catholic Church as some of the leading orthodox denominations against the practice of LGBTQ+ activity in Ghana.
(Photo: Thomas Techie Ocran, president of the Southern Ghana Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, has been in the news lately for saying the Adventist Church in Ghana supports a bill to criminialize LGBTQIA+ activity. Photo via Facebook.)