Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has declined to comment on his position on the Anti LGBTQI+ bill before Parliament.
Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu who is also the lawmaker for Suame Constituency was speaking on Accra-based Okay FM in an interview when he made this known.
He said, “the Majority leader is the leader of the house so any comment that will come from me will be interpreted to be the position of Parliament. Making such statements will be very prejudicial”.
A group of popular Ghanaian experts in various fields have kicked against the passage of a bill in parliament aimed at criminalizing same-sex activities in Ghana.
They have described the bill as an impermissible invasion of the inviolability of human dignity.
The private members’ bill dubbed Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 is being pushed for passage by some members of parliament. It is proposing heavy punishments for persons who engage in same-sex or related activities including a 10-year jail term for offenders.
The promoters of the bill which was presented to parliament in June 2021 also want promoters of any sexuality that falls within the LGBTQI+ spectrum other than between a man and a woman to suffer consequences.
But following a public notice by the parliamentary service on behalf of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs requesting for written memoranda on the yet to be considered bill, the group of high profile Ghanaian lawyers, Communications, Media and governance experts say the bill is undemocratic.
The experts include Professor Kofi Gyimah-Boadi, Dr Rose Kutin-Mensah, Professor H. Kwasi Prempeh, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, Professor Kwame KariKari, Mr Akoto Ampaw and Professor Raymond Atuguba.
In two separate memos to parliament seen by Mynewsgh.com, the groups say passage of the bill will amount to sacrificing the fundamental human rights of individuals who wish to enjoy their sexual rights on the basis of so-called Ghanaian cultural and religious values.
They argued that promoters of the bill have not provided data to support claims that allowing same-sex activities will erode the cultural values of Ghanaian society.
They stated further that per Article 18 of the Constitution of Ghana, the country is practising a secular democracy and “not a theocratic Christian or the Islamic Republic or an African traditional monarchy or chiefdom.”
They added that “our Constitution rightfully forbids the imposition of a religious dogma, whether Christian or Islamic or traditional on Ghanaians.”
Any gov’t that will vote against Anti LGBTQI+ will face our wrath – Christian Community warns
Chairman for the Church of Pentecost Apostle Eric Nyamekye has issued a barrage of stern warnings to the political class on the anti LGBTQ+ bill currently in Parliament.
According to him, the church is ready for advocacy against homosexuality and any government that votes against the passing of the bill should know that the people of Ghana will vote them out.
“We are going to cause our people to come on the streets and we are going to warn any government that if you vote against this bill, we will vote you out. There is no room for neutrality.”
LGBTQI ‘worse’ than COVID-19, we’ll pass law criminalising it by end of 2021 – Bagbin
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, after receiving the bill, indicated that a new law to criminalise Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Queer (LGBTQ) activities in Ghana will be passed by the end of 2021.
Describing LGBTQI activities as a pandemic, Alban Bagbin said it “must be fought by all of us.”
“I can tell you that it is more than COVID-19, and I am happy that our beloved country, Ghana, is together in this. The President has spoken, our traditional leaders have spoken, our religious leaders have spoken together, and Ghanaians have spoken with one voice, and we don’t want to do anything that has to do with LGBTQ activities. I will always do what is right because good will always triumph over evil.”
Eight members of Ghana’s Parliament jointly submitted a private bill to push for the criminalization of LGBTQI+ activities in the country.
The bill, which they term as a ‘Bill on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values’, was presented to Speaker, Alban Bagbin on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.
The proponents of the bill want the promotion, advocacy, funding, and acts of homosexuality to be criminalized in the country.
The Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram constituency, Sam George, who led the MPs to make the presentation, said it “is a landmark legislation that has taken the last 14 weeks working with a fantastic team of professionals to put together. It is in my humble opinion a world-class piece of legislation which should be reference material for other Parliaments seeking to pass similar legislation.”
The other members of parliament that joined in presenting the bill include, Emmanuel Bedzrah (MP, Ho West) Della Adjoa Sowah (MP, Kpando), John Ntim Fordjour (MP, Assin South), Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini (MP, Tamale North), Helen Adjoa Ntoso (MP, Krachi West), Rita Naa Odoley Sowah (MP, La Dadekotopon) and Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor (MP, South Dayi).