By Bubu Klinogo.
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has given indications that MPs will vote and state publicly where each one of them stands on the anti-LGBTQI+ Bill currently before the House.
The Speaker stated these when he formally welcomed MPs back from recess to start the third meeting of the first session of the Eighth Parliament of the fourth Republic. The anti-LGBTQI+ Bill, dubbed the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021, has generated so much interest both locally and internationally.
While almost all religious groupings and Civil Society Organisations have thrown their weight behind the Bill, others notably some influential academics and advocates have called for the total rejection of the Bill, arguing that it is unconstitutional and violates the fundamental human rights of the people it targeted.
The Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has so far received more than 140 memoranda either in support or against the Bill, which will form the basis of its deliberations and report to the plenary. The Speaker said in view of the public interest generated and the importance of the Bill, the vote on the Bill shall be public.
“The Bill that has been christened the LGBTQI+ honourable members, the Bill before the House has generated the national conversation and the Bill before the House is christened the Promotion of Proper Sexual Human Rights and Ghanaian Family Values. This is healthy for a matured democracy like Ghana. It is important we allow various shapes of opinions to …..their position on the Bill. The Parliament of Ghana is capable of handling the situation. I’ll assure the citizens of this country that we’ll create the enabling environment for all to put across their views. At the end of the day, the processes of the House will determine the outcome.’’
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, charged the Committee to lead Parliament to pass a Bill that reflects the will and desire of the generality of Ghanaians.
“The Parliament of Ghana is doing what is appropriate. After all, we are representatives of the good people of this country. The Bill is before the appropriate Committee who have to digest and pass through the predicament of the memoranda submitted and listen to the sponsorship of the Bill in order to prepare and submit a credible report to the Judge.’’
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, for his part reiterated his earlier position that as far as he is concerned, Parliament will do the needful as regards to the Bill in question. He said contrary to some reports, every bill has been considered in public.
“The Committee may decide to sit in public and I believe that if the leadership of the Committee decides to sit in public, the leadership of the House certainly will facilitate their sitting in public, that’s all that everybody will get to know what,’’ according to Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.