The Minority in Parliament is demanding clarification on the status of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021.
This, according to Deputy Minority Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, will allay fears of any unconstitutionality that may arise ahead of its Anti-LGBTQ bill’s deliberation on the floor.
Article 106 (14) indicates that “A bill introduced in Parliament by or on behalf of the President shall not be delayed for more than three months in any committee of Parliament.”
Speaking on the floor of the House on Friday, Mr Ibrahim argued that next week will be the third month since the presentation of the bill to the Committee.
“This was a bill presented through a coalition, and some of our members and they’re expecting too much from parliament. But, unfortunately, nothing is being heard even though last week, Mr Speaker himself was emphatic,” the Banda MP said.
So far, over 100 memoranda have been received by the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee regarding the draft bill.
If passed in its current state, the document will criminalise the activities of LGBTQI+ and individuals and organisations that advocate or promote the activity in the country.
The controversial bill has been accompanied by mounting pressure from a section of the public, including top clergy members and Islamic clerics who want it to become law expeditiously.
However, a series of memoranda, which oppose the legislation, has also been presented to the Committee, describing it as an endorsement of state-sponsored violence against minority groups and an infringement on their human rights.
On the back of this, coupled with the upcoming budget statement to be read by Finance Minister, Ahmed Ibrahim is soliciting answers from the Committee on the way forward.
“For the three months that we went on recess, I was expecting that there will be a meeting [Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee] and I will take part,” he explained, adding that no meeting was brought to his attention as a member of the Committee.
He wanted the Chairman of the Committee to explain what has accounted for the delay and the measures to avert a potential constitutional breach.
Meanwhile, Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin revealed that the Committee met on Thursday, October 28, to figure out a roadmap for the bill’s consideration.
In August, eight parliamentarians jointly submitted a private bill to push for the criminalisation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer and their related activities (LGBTQ+) in the country.
The proponents also want the promotion, advocacy, funding, and acts of homosexuality to be forbidden in the country.
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