Director Legal of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Dr Poku Adusei has described the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill as a proposed law that breaches several provisions in the 1992 Constitution.

Speaking on Newsfile, Dr Adusei noted that portions of the Anti-LGBTQ Bill seek to penalise Ghanaians who frown upon maltreatment against LGBTQ persons by some members of the public, prescribe what is proper with regards to one’s sexual activities.

According to him, sanctioning a citizen for calling for a less intense penalty meted out to individuals engaged in same-sex-related activities is unacceptable.

Interacting with Samson Lardy Anyenini, he, therefore, concluded that the bill in its current state will suffer issues of constitutionality.

“If you look at the tenure of the bill, you don’t need anyone to tell you that it won’t meet a constitutional test going forward. When you get a law in which adverbs and other descriptive words are used to qualify nouns and verbs, it tells you there is something wrong. So the use of the word ‘proper’ in the name of the law in itself should tell you that there is something wrong.

“What is proper in this world when scholars over the years have established that going into people’s private affairs in that nature is not the right thing to do. What infringes on the rights of those persons is that you are now saying they cannot decide to live their private lives if it doesn’t come into the public sphere. If someone is being liberal and says you can’t maltreat this person, then that person is also committing a crime. That is way out of order. “

“The bill in its current state, even if it is passed as law, will not be able to survive the threshold of constitutionality when it goes to the Supreme Court of Ghana.”

Per the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, spearheaded by eight legislators, including MP for Ningo-Prampram, Sam Nartey George, persons who engage in activities that “promote, support, express sympathy for or call for a change of public opinion towards an act prohibited under the Bill”, are liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years or not more than ten years.

The Bill further states that 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 to a term of imprisonment of not less than three years and not more than five years or both.”

On the show, Dr Poku Adusei stated categorically he holds the position that gay rights are not human rights. But he was quick to add that having a legislation in order to make the fight against the LGBTQ community constitutional, is not the way to go.

“I won’t say homosexuality and its related activities is human right. I will not accept that. However, I will not also accept a situation in which you can also say that I’m legislating to antagonize and infringe the rights of certain individuals who have certain orientations that way it will be unconstitutional. It is so overboard that you are now telling us that these are the proper values of our humanity. That way, you are mistaken,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Poku Adusei has urged Ghanaians to refrain from describing groups and individuals against the said bill as promoters of same-sex related activities.

According to him, pointing out the flaws in the Anti-LGBTQ Bill is not the same as encouraging individuals to engage in homosexuality.

“We should not lose sight that the group with Akoto Ampaw and Professor Takyiwaa Manu and the rest who are advocating against the bill are in no way saying that they are supporters of lesbianism and gayism. That is one thing Ghanaians must understand. It doesn’t mean they will go and take their kids that they should convert from heterosexual relationships into homosexuality.

“They are rather saying that the route you are taking is a wrong one,” he added.

His comment comes after Private legal practitioner, Akoto Ampaw who is a member of the Coalition of Lawyers, Academics and other Professionals that submitted a memorandum requesting that Parliament throws out the Anti LGBTQ Bill, has faced criticism from members of the public for standing against the bill.

According to Mr Ampaw, the bill is in direct conflict with a number of constitutionally-protected fundamental freedoms and human rights and the coalition’s position has no relation with members’ personal preference for same-sex activities.

“Our position as a group is that every person who is a human being is entitled to certain basic rights and that what the bill is doing is launching an assault on the rights of a particular group in our society.

“Our position has nothing to do with our personal preference or not for homosexual activities. Our position is a principled position that we take to defend the rights of every person in Ghana and subject to the public interest.”

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