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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Parliament receives over 124 memos on anti-LGBTQI+ Bill [Video]




The Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament has so far received over 124 memoranda from the public over the anti-LGBTQI+ Bill, which is currently before the House for consideration.

In an interview on JoyNews’ The Probe, Chairman of the Committee, Kwame Anyimadu Antwi, disclosed that as of Thursday, October 7, over 124 memoranda had been submitted to them for appropriate action to be taken.

He noted that they will continue to accept memos from the general public until the Committee has finished looking into the matter.

“It was not the last day yet, so we continue to receive, and that’s why I cannot add more. Even the day that the Committee would be sitting, if you bring a memo, we’d hear you.”

“This is a matter that has a public interest, and we’d want to hear from all angles, so the clerk put up a notice that people who are interested would actually sit up so that by the time parliament resumes, we can look at these and also have the time to read them,” he said.

Mr Anyimadu Antwi added that the Committee has already started perusing the various memos to ensure good work is done when Parliament resumes.

He added that he is not under pressure amid the entrenched positions taken by some groups over the bill.

“What I agreed with the Clerk [of Parliament] is that we should actually synchronise them [the memoranda] because some of them had sent their’s via email and some had actually presented it physically.”

“It’s our responsibility, and we actually took a vow in Parliament that we’d do justice to all manner of people, defend the Constitution and whatnot. This is a right, and we are going into the constitution,” he assured.

Eight MPs jointly submitted a private bill to push for the criminalisation of LGBTQI+ activities in the country.

The bill, which they term as a ‘Bill on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values’, was presented to Speaker Alban Bagbin on June 29, 2021.

The proponents want the promotion, advocacy, funding, and acts of homosexuality to be criminalized in the country.

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The Church of Pentecost has, in its memoranda to the committee, sent its strongest caution yet to government regarding the legislation against the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer and their related activities (LGBTQ+) in Ghana.

National Chairman of the Church, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, said his outfit will vote out any political party that stands against the passage of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill.

Meanwhile, a group of academics and lawyers comprising Akoto Ampaw, Professor H. Kwasi Prempeh, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo have also voiced concerns about the bill, arguing it will dent Ghana’s image as a bastion of democracy because of clauses in the bill that curtails individual rights and freedoms.

But the Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro MP, Sylvester Tetteh, says the bill will be passed because it has the support of both caucuses of the House.

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