The Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill is set to be laid in Parliament, but the controversies surrounding it continue to divide public opinion, and same was witnessed when a leading MP sponsoring the Bill, Sam George, clashed with two opponents to it on Saturday, July 31.

Former Country Director for Amnesty International, Robert Amoafo, speaking on Joy News’ Newsfile, highlighted the deficiency in riding on popularity to push through the bill, described as propagating hatred.

Mr Amoafo believes legislators should be minded about the silent minority who have been muzzled – for fear of victimisation.

The human rights advocate said the point of concern should be, “does the sexual activity of gay people affect anybody negatively?”

But the outspoken Ningo-Prampram MP was quick to raise issues on public morality that have constitutional backing.

According to Mr George, the LGBT debacle is not limited to “private sexual activity.”

He said, “the matter goes beyond that to the laws, on marriage, school curriculum for children and many more.”

The MP argued that the Bill, contrary to widespread opinion, seeks to protect LGBT people by precluding and punishing extra-judicial actions against them only because they are identified as such.

Section 22 of the proposed Bill reads in part, “A person commits a misdemeanor if the person, whether verbally or physically, abuses, assaults or harasses, a person…accused of an offence under this Act or suffering from any gender or sexual identity challenge including LGBTTQQIAAP+ or any other variant of a sexual identity challenge…”

Preclusion of laws on religion

Also speaking on the show, former Volta River Authority boss, Dr Charles Wereko Brobby, minced no words in calling out the high handedness of the proposed legislation.

“I am always for tolerance,” he said.

The former diplomat added, “We are not an Islamic Republic,” advancing his point that the country’s constitution does not allow imposing laws on religious bases.

The Constitution in Article 56 reads, Parliament shall have no power to enact a law to establish or authorize the establishment of a body or movement with the right or power to impose on the people of Ghana a common programme or a set of objectives of a religious or political nature.

Under the Directive Principles of State Policy-Article 34, the Constitution also prohibits discrimination based on gender.

Article 37, which protects citizens’ rights “to form their own associations free from state interference and to use them to promote and protect their interests…” and Article 162 (4), relating to journalists and their Editors’ rights, are all at odds with the Bill in its current form.