March 29, 2023

Anti-Gay Bill Will Be Passed; Bagbin Notes

The Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Rt Hon Alban Sumana Bagbin, has stated that parliament will see through the passage of the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill.


The anti-gay bill introduced by some Members of Parliament in 2021 seeks to among other things institute 3 to 5 years of imprisonment for engaging in same-sex intercourse; 5 to 10 years of imprisonment for anyone who produces, procures, or distributes material deemed to be promoting LGBT+ activities.


It also seeks to institute 6 months to 1-year imprisonment for a public show of amorous relations between people of the same sex; a ban on sponsoring LGBT+ groups; a ban on adoption and fostering for LGBT+ potential parents; prohibition of same-sex marriage; 6 months to 3 years imprisonment for anyone who harasses someone accused of being LGBT+ and others.


Earlier, Opemsuo Radio’s Parliamentary correspondent, Nana Kwaku Bofah reported that the bill will be laid before the plenary by the end of March citing the lead advocate of the bill, Sam George. 


But ahead of that visiting the United States Vice President Kamala Harris said LGBTQ+ is a human rights issue.


“I feel very strongly about the importance of supporting the freedom and supporting the fighting for equality among all people, and that all people be treated equally. I will also say that this is an issue that we consider, and I consider to be a human rights issue, and that will not change”, she said during a joint press conference at the Jubilee House with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, March 27.


In response, on Mach 28 during a breakfast meeting with the some clergymen in the country, the Speaker of the House said Harris’ statement was “undemocratic”.


“These things should not be tolerated. That is undemocratic. What is democracy? That someone should have to dictate to me what is good and what is bad?”, he wondered.


“Unheard of, because we have decided to devalue ourselves and go begging? Come on, we have more than enough. God has created more than enough for every person, the Bill will be passed”.


President Akufo-Addo during Monday’s briefing said the bill had been reviewed by the Attorney-General and is in good shape to reflect human rights concerns but this was immediately discredited by Sam George who is also MP for Ningo Prampram constituency.


Responding to the President’s lukewarmness towards the subject, Speaker Bagbin noted that the Executive has no power to inflict changes to the bill while it is in the courts of the Legislature.


“We {Parliament} will direct you to execute it, that is where you come in. In terms of the law which is part of the policy, we will finalise it, then the executive has the authority to implement it. Let’s get this clear.”


He added, “A word to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo: There’s no way he can intervene…wait until we pass it.”



Source: Fuseini

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