The Majority Leader of Parliament says despite strong support for the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values bill 2021 before the House, MPs needed to ensure the protection of the rights of all citizens.

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu speaking at a press briefing held at Parliament on Tuesday stated that all legislators’ opinions clearly support the anti-LGBTQ+ bill.

He said, “In principle, I am not sure any Member of Parliament will be against the principle of this bill.”

The Suame MP explained that his personal principles and the collective value system of the country do not support the LGBT community nor its practices.

“I am an African, I am a Ghanaian, an Ashanti, Kwabre man, and I have my own values. I have my own upbringing, one that is shaped by my tradition and upbringing. As I have said along the line, I am Christian; I was born into Assemblies of God church, so my faith also impacts my upbringing. But that is not the only thing that shapes my upbringing.”

He added, “That is why I am saying, and I refer to the first provision in Chapter 11 of the Constitution, which is Article 125, when it says that justice emanates from the people.

“We have our concept of what is right and what is wrong; I don’t know of any ethnic group of this country that will applaud this.”

However, he was quick to remind Ghanaians that despite Ghana’s democracy being a majoritarian one, it does not allow for the trampling of the rights of minority groups.

“Yes, we’re a democratic country, and Parliament should ensure that the rights of citizens are protected. I guess we’ll do what is appropriate in the circumstance. Don’t forget democracy is about majority rule.

“Democracy is majoritarian, but it doesn’t also mean that we should trample on the rights of others. There should be a careful balance, and the appropriate thing will be done.”

The anti-LGBT bill, when passed, will see culprits face a jail term of up to ten years depending on the crime if passed in its current state.

Individuals of the same sex who engage in sexual intercourse are “liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than seven hundred and fifty penalty units and not more than five thousand penalty units, or a term of imprisonment of not less than three years and not more than five years or both.”

This encompasses any person who “holds out as a lesbian, a gay, a transgender, a transsexual, a queer, a pansexual, an ally, a non-binary or any other sexual or gender identity that is contrary to the binary categories of male and female.”

According to Ningo Prampram MP Samuel George, the bill criminalises the activity and the promotion, advocacy, and funding of the act.

Meanwhile, several academics and legal lights have rejected the anti-gay bill in Parliament, saying it constitutes an “impermissible invasion of the inviolability and human dignity” of the LGBTQI community.

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