Majority Leader, Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has said barring any unforeseen circumstances beyond parliament control, the Anti-Gay Bill currently before the House would receive unanimous passage into law.
According to him, until proven otherwise, he is not aware of any ethnic group or tribe in Ghana that allows persons to practices homosexuality commonly known as LGBTQAAP+.
He said he is curtained all the 275 Parliamentarians would vote in favour of the “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values 2021” bill, which has been referred to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament.
Hon Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who doubled as Minister for Parliamentary Affairs made the comment when he addressed media in Parliament on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, on issues regarding the LGBTQAA+ Bill.
He told Journalists, there is no tribe or religion in Ghana, be it Christianity, Islam, or Tradition that endorses such practices as part of their culture and assured that, despite the diverging views and human rights issues, the Bill would receive an overwhelming endorsement in Parliament.
The Majority Leader, however, urged Ghanaians to build the same enthusiasm that they have for the anti-gay Bill for other Bills, especially the Spouses Bill currently before parliament.
He further explained that it was out of place for the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Alban Bagbin to have made prejudicial comments about the passage of the Bill, stressing that the Speaker is technically not an MP and thus could not give such assurance on behalf of Parliament.
“The Speaker cannot commit parliament, the Speaker can make a referral to Parliament which will be programmed by the business committee for consideration.
“I’ll find it difficult if we have a Speaker who as part of his own antecedent as a former member of parliament say that parliament is going to pass the bill. It’s a bit of difficulty unless I didn’t hear well.”
“I’m not saying parliament is not going to pass it, but the speaker should not make a predetermination for the house because he’s not a Member of Parliament and this is the business of Parliament,” Hon Kyei Mensah Bonsu said.
The sponsors of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values 2021 bill are seeking to criminalise the LGBTQ community in Ghana.
When the Bill is passed the Present Ascended to it, persons who identify as LGBTQ and or engage in such or related practice could face up to 5-10 years imprisonment.
Portions of the bill proposed that “a person who, by use of media, technological platform, technological account or any other means, produces, procures, markets, broadcasts, disseminates, publishes or distributes a material for purposes of promoting an activity prohibited under the Bill, or a person uses an electronic device, the Internet service, a film, or any other device capable of electronic storage or transmission to produce, procure, market, broadcast, disseminate, publishes or distribute a material for purposes of promoting an activity prohibited under the Bill commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than ten years.”
The Bill called the “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill,” is a Private Members’ bill sponsored by Samuel Nartey George alias “Gyata”, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram and seven other MPs from both side.
The anti-gay Bill has been a subject of debate after a group of middle-class Ghanaian intellectuals started a crusade against the passage of the Bill.
The Bill received the overwhelming support of Ghanaians, for which reason s one of the reasons why they are pushing that it be passed expeditiously.
Nevertheless, the bill faces stiff opposition as the Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs has received over 120 memos geared towards shaping the bill.