The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has described as “undemocratic” US Vice President, Kamala Harris’s call on Ghana to treat same sex relationships as a matter of human right.
The Speaker said Ghana is a sovereign country and would not be dictated to by any external powers.
MrBagbin’s comments follow Ms Harris’s claim that the US’s stance on human rights violation against minority groups has not changed and that Ghana must treat LGBTQ matters as human right.
“I feel very strongly about the importance of supporting freedom and supporting the fighting for equality among all people and that all people be treated equally. I will also say that this [LGBTQ] is an issue that we consider, and I consider it to be a human rights issue, and that will not change,” Mrs Harris said in response to a question asked at a joint press conference at the Jubilee House, in Accra, on Monday.
However, the Speaker, at the second Breakfast Prayer Meeting of the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship on the theme: ‘Praying for the nation’ in Parliament, Accra, on Monday, expressed worry about the US Vice President’s comment.
“What the Vice President of the USA, Ms Kamala Harris, did yesterday 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? 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,”MrBagbin said.
He asked “What are you afraid of if you have the whole people behind you? If God is with you, who can be against you? If somebody says don’t multiply, how can that person be stronger than God?”
MrBagbinsaid President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had no role to play “at all” in the passage or otherwise of the Proper Human Sexual Right and Ghanaian Family Values Bill,adding that the President could control Parliament on the bill.
The President had told the US Vice President that the Attorney General had done some changes to the bill, assuring her that the rights of the LGBTQ community would be respected in the final draft to be passed.
But, MrBagbin said “There’s no way he [the president] can intervene. That answer he gave, wait until we pass it, and we 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, while this Bill is before us, he is not in charge; I am in charge”.
The Speaker entreated the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee working on anti-LGBTQ bill not to be intimidated by anyone.
Giving his support to the Speaker, Reverend Dr Lawrence Tetteh of the World Miracle Outreach, indicated that he was concerned about what he said was President Akufo-Addo’s cold feet on LGBTQ when he met the US Vice President.
Rev.Tetteh said he expected the President to reiterate his earlier declaration that legalisation on same sex relationship in Ghana would not happen under his watch.
“Our prayer for you today is not just about your health; it is that you do not change your words when we most need you. When you get the chance to make a statement on behalf of our nation, you will not seek to impress anybody by being politically right.”
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI