A private legal practitioner, Akoto Ampaw, has asked Parliament to outrightly reject the anti-LGBTQI+ Bill, describing it as unconstitutional considering the provisions in it.
He argued that the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021, was introduced in parliament in a manner that goes contrary to the constitution.
Mr Akoto Ampaw, appearing before Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs on Thursday, observed that the bill, when passed, will impose charges on the consolidated fund; hence, it must be dismissed.
“The bill, with its provisions for so called therapy and medical treatment, will require in situations where the person responsible for the assault has no money that the state steps in to provide medical services. This clearly imposes charges on the consolidated fund and therefore ought not to have been introduced in a Private Members Bill.”
“It is clear that the Speaker of Parliament, as in this case, has exercised discretion unreasonably, by concluding that the bill does not impose a charge on the public funds, when it is obvious and palpable that the bill imposed a charge on the public fund,” he noted.
The Coalition of Lawyers, Academics and other Professionals together with the Human Rights Coalition submitted two different petitions requesting that Parliament throws out the Anti-LGBTQ Bill.
They stated that the bill which criminalizes dissenting views and expressions contrary to the words ‘freedom and justice’ “that emblazon our coat of arms” should be entirely rejected.
A member of the Concerned Citizens against the bill, Akoto Ampaw, told the Committee during the public hearing that the Speaker of Parliament acted unconstitutionally by allowing the bill to be laid in the House.
“Let us make the point clear that we live in a country under democratic republic where we are not ruled by men but by law; so the Speaker is not above the law or the constitution.
“He is subject to the mandatory provisions of the constitution and it is our view that the Speaker violated Article 103 of the constitution when he allowed such a bill that clearly imposed a charge on consolidated funds and public funds to be laid before Parliament.”
The Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament began the first of a series of public hearings on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 on Thursday.
The bill if passed in its current state will criminalise Lesbianism, Gayism, Bisexual, Transgender and their related activities.
Over 140 memos have been presented to the committee so far regarding the bill.
The public hearing on the memos received is expected to last for 15 weeks.
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