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The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, is calling for tolerance in the public debate on the anti-LGBTQI+ bill currently before Parliament.
He said Parliament will do all it can to create an enabling environment for everyone to share their view on the controversial bill.
Addressing Parliament after the resumption of sittings on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, Alban Bagbin said cool heads should prevail while the bill is debated dispassionately.
“This bill continues to generate a lot of interest and in fact has taken some different dimensions. For me, this is healthy for a maturing democracy like Ghana. It is important that we allow various shapes of opinions to canvass their positions on the bill… As Ghanaians, I want to plead with us to accommodate the views of others. Whatever perceptions we have, let’s maintain the peace and cool heads,” he said.
About 20 Members of Parliament initiated processes to have a law passed to criminalize LGBTQ+ activities and advocacy in the country and proposed jail terms for such actions.
The bill, dubbed ‘The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021,’ has been received with mixed feelings, with a section of the public condemning it while others described it as hateful.
According to the Speaker of Parliament, the House is capable of resolving the issue after its debate.
He said Parliament will take a decision taking into account the country’s culture and values and the protection of human rights and freedoms as dictated by the constitution.
“The Parliament of Ghana is capable of handling the situation. I will assure the citizens of this country that we will create an enabling environment for all to put across the views. I am very convinced that the law that will come out of all this, will protect the culture and values of our people and the Ghanaian identity. It is in law agreed that we also take into consideration the human rights and freedoms guaranteed under our constitution. And it is a law that we’ll take into consideration the richness of common sense, human decency, morality, facts, logic, and at the end of the day, it is a law that will transform this country,” he said.
He further called on the various religious groups, academia, civil society, and other stakeholders to feel free to express their views on the subject.