Parliamentary C’ttee discusses anti-gay bill in London

Four Members of Parliament (MPs) on the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, are participating in the United King’s chapter of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association conference (CPA), in London. 

At the invitation of the Association, the delegation led by Chairman of the Committee, and MP for Asante Akim Central, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, on Sunday left Accra for London, United Kingdom.  

Mr Anyimadu-Antwi said the programme for the meeting included discussion on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021, which seeks to proscribe same sex relationship. 

The anti-gay bill seeks to criminalise Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ)+ sexual relationship and association.

Additionally, it aims at criminalising a wide-range of non-heterosexual conduct and habits and advocacy for or in support of LGBTQ+ rights or persons.

“Amongst other things, we have to meet the Ghana Mission and then we also discuss this LGBTQ. Particularly, I am interested in it because we have a law that emanated from our colonial masters in our static books, which says that unnatural canal knowledge is an offence, but they happen to pass the LGBTQ. How did they get there? I will be interested to know,” Mr Anyimadu-Antwi , told Accra-based TV3, on Saturday. 

He said that deliberations on other human right issues, including the death penalty in Ghana, would feature at the meeting. 

“You will realise that when you are convicted of murder you have to be killed by hanging, but no President to the best of my knowledge, had actually appended his signature for execution of any person sentenced to death, ”Mr Anyimadu-Antwi  noted.

The trip comes days after the Majority and Minority caucuses clashed over the delay in the work of the committee on the draft bill. 

Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, on Wednesday June 8, 2022, said his side of the House would not support government in the passage of any bill if the anti-gay bill was not passed, accusing Mr Anyimadu-Antwi of deliberately slowing the work of the committee. 

“Since this is the method that the Chair of the Constitutional and Legal want to use to delay that bill, that bill was in this house before so many other bills, I can assure that any other bill you introduce in this House we shall resist it… We will make sure that that bill as long as it stays there no other bill passes through this House. If you try to do that, we shall oppose it because we see that it is deliberate,” Mr Muntaka said. 

However, Mr Anyimadu-Antwi said Mr Muntaka was being mischievous with the facts. According to the chairman of the committee, the bill attracted 187 memoranda, and in line with law, all of them would have to be heard, an exercise he said the Minority was aware of. 

Public hearing of memoranda on the private members bill commenced in Parliament, on November 11, 2021, after it was read the first time and referred to the Committee by the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, on June 6, 2021. 

The bill is being championed by the Coalition of MPs against LGBTQ, led by Ningo-Prampram MP, Mr Sam George.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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