Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Prof. H. Kwasi Prempeh

Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, says the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021, should not be passed just because majority of Ghanaians support it.

According to him, the drafters of the Constitution of Ghana provided limitations to the powers of the majority by setting up institutions that serve as a safeguard against the tyranny of the masses.

These safeguards, he says, include fundamental human rights.

He explained that if the bill is passed, it would be a direct infringement on the rights of the LGBTQ community, which would then leave them at the mercy of the prejudices of the majority.

Speaking before Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs, which is currently hosting a public hearing on the Promotion of Proper Sexual Rights and Ghana Family Values Bill 2021, on Wednesday, Prof. Prempeh said, “the proponents of the Bill have sought to make much of the fact that this is a democracy and therefore the will of the majority must prevail. And prevail including in legislation.

“May I remind the proponents of this bill that this democracy for which we’ve all fought to maintain, is not a populist democracy, it is not just a majoritarian democracy, it is a constitutional democracy which means that even the majority including, Acts that are passed by Parliament, are subject to constitutional limitations.

“In fact, there are a number of institutions in our Constitution that are deliberately counter-majoritarian, that are deliberately placed there so as to serve as a check on the prejudices of a majority.

“The Constitution’s provisions on fundamental human rights are indeed one of such safeguards. They elevate the human being, the individual and mind you, it doesn’t just address citizens, the fundamental human rights provisions of the Constitution apply to all persons and they stand as a bulwark against the tyranny of the majority.”

Prof Prempeh further stated that it will be injurious to the vulnerable community to have persons from what he called, momentary majority impose their will and prejudices on the country.

“So merely because you‘re part of a momentary majority – and majorities are fleeting – merely because you see yourself as part of a momentary majority, does not entitle you to impose your will on even one individual in the society. If that individual is indeed backed by the Constitution, if the person is standing up against the majority. So majority might confer might, but it doesn’t confer right upon the persons,” he said.

His argument is based on assertions from proponents and supporters of the bill that a majority of Ghanaians abhor homosexual activities and same-sex marriages, hence are in support of the bill.

The proponents of the bill have called on the government to support the passage of the bill or face rejection from the people of Ghana.

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