There has been unanimous consent by all 275 Members of Parliament for the passage of the anti-LGBTQ Bill currently before the house.
This follows months of public debate and ratification of the 36-paged document by the legislators and stakeholders since its introduction in 2021.
Already, the controversial bill has been hit with a number of legal actions with the latest lawsuit announced only on Tuesday, July 4, 2023.
But approving the laying of the bill and the subsequent debate before the consideration stage, Speaker Alban Bagbin said it is clear that no legislator is against the passage of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2022.
“With the submissions just made by the Honorable Andy Appiah Kubi that all the 275 are in support of the bill, anybody who disagrees be on your feet and I will recognize you.
“Honorable members, since all members are in support of the bill, I am definitely not going to gag the House. I will give you the opportunity to expand and improve further the submissions made so that at the consideration stage, it will be enriched by your contributions.
“But I just want us to be clear that none is against the bill,” he stressed.
Speaker Alban Bagbin added that “In view of the numbers, I am tempted to give some time limits for the debates so that we can give opportunity to everybody to make a contribution. At the end of the day, your report is already in the public domain.”
Meanwhile, the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament has recommended that the House passes the controversial Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021.
According to the Committee, the majority of Ghanaians are in favour of the legislation.
While admitting that the bill had “significant human rights concerns”, the Committee informed the House that it petitioned the Attorney-General for its opinion.
The 18-page document which was signed by the Committee’s Chairperson, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, had been subjected to the amendments proffered by the Committee.
Mr Anyimadu-Antwi indicated that the decision was reached after considering the advice of the Attorney General.
The controversial LGBT bill is a private member’s bill that was presented to Speaker Alban Bagbin on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. It is being spearheaded by 8 MPs.
The proponents want the promotion, advocacy, funding, and acts of homosexuality to be criminalised in the country.
Although the Bill is in Parliament, the LGBTQ+ conversation was reignited during US Vice President, Kamala Harris’ visit to Ghana.
Madam Harris, addressing the gathering said, “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 is an issue that we consider, and I consider to be a human rights issue, and that will not change.”
Even though she did not directly address the bill in Ghana’s Parliament, a section of Ghanaians took offense and responded to her.
Notable among those who responded to her was Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, who described her comments as undemocratic and “should not be tolerated.”