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Anti-LGBTQ legislation can’t be laid using Private Member’s Bill – Akoto Ampaw

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The Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament has begun public hearings on memoranda received on the controversial Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill.

Having already criticized the Bill as going against Ghana’s constitution, a group of Concerned Ghanaian Citizens has now argued that a Bill of this nature could only be tabled by the executive arm of government.

“Our respectful submission here is that the Bill has been introduced in Parliament, not in the manner laid down. This is because this is a private member’s Bill and under Article 108 of the constitution it is the President or his agents who can introduce Bills generally in Parliament, and where a Bill does not impose a charge on the consolidated funds or any public funds, then it may be introduced by any Private Bill,” spokespersons for the group, Akoto Ampaw said.

He said there will be extensive duties and costs on the Ghana Police Service if the proposed law is effectively enforced.

The therapy and medical outline in the bill may also be funded by the state, Mr. Ampaw argued further.

“These clearly imposed costs, charges on the Consolidated Fund, and therefore ought not to have been introduced [by a private member’s Bill],” Mr. Ampaw said.

Also opposed to the Bill are the Human Rights Coalition, which questions the basis of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill.

According to the Spokesperson of the group, Prof. H. Kwasi Prempeh, the bill if passed will discriminate against persons with rights provided for in a constitutional democracy. He was speaking at the public hearings by the Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.

Support for the Bill
The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council and The Church of Pentecost also appeared before the committee to reiterate their commitment to getting the Bill passed.

A Representative of the Pentecost Church, Elder Peter Kaba, for example, asked Parliament to make a decision that is consistent with the view of the majority of Ghanaians on the issue.

“The youth see the institution of marriage as a union established and ordained by God for the life-long and intimated relation by the male Homo sapiens and female Homo sapiens as defined at conception,” he said.

The Committee has received over 150 memoranda from religious bodies, civil society groups, and citizens on the controversial subject of sexual orientation.

The Bill prescribes that people of the same sex who engage in sexual activity could spend up to 10 years in jail.

Varying forms of support for the LGBTQ+ community will also be criminalized if the Bill, known as the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, is passed into law.

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