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HomeNewsYou just can’t use principles of cultural values to enact laws –...

You just can’t use principles of cultural values to enact laws – CHRAJ boss on anti- LGBTQ+

The Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Joseph Akanjolenur Whittal, is questioning what legislators were trying to achieve with the introduction and subsequent passage of the controversial anti-LGBTQ+bill.

According to him, the world is fast becoming a global village; therefore, enacting laws based on culture and tradition is retrogressive.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on February 29, he said “This thing that we are joking with if we don’t take time, it will boomerang in our face and the signals are coming. So, is it worth the so-called values that we are thinking of in a globalised world?”he quizzed.

On Wednesday, February 28, after three years, Parliament passed the controversial bill that criminalises what proponents of the bill describe as deviant behaviour and its promotion.

This news has instilled fear in the LGBTQ+ community as it puts their lives at risk.

However, Mr Whittal has assured them that they are safe as long as the bill is not assented to by the President, so they should feel secure.

The bill imposes a prison sentence of up to three years for anyone convicted of identifying as LGBTQ+. It also imposes a maximum five-year jail term for forming or funding LGBTQ+ groups.

MPs frustrated attempts to replace prison sentences with community service and counselling.

The Commissioner appealed to the President not to approve the bill, considering his background in human rights.

“This bill is not a law, so it cannot be used against anybody. There are still processes to make it a law. That is why I am raising the challenge to the presidency to consider whether he shouldn’t exercise his right of rejection on the basis of constitutionality aired against human rights. If it makes it through him, and if he also assents, I know there is a bunch of people who are ready to challenge the constitutionality of this bill before the Supreme Court.”