Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has slammed President Akufo-Addo for saying he will intervene in the passage of an anti-LGBTQ+ bill when necessary. 

Mr Bagbin says the President has no power to do insofar as the bill is before Parliament. 

The former Nadowli Kaleo lawmaker said President Akufo-Addo only has executive powers and not legislation. 

Speaking during a meeting with some religious leaders on Tuesday, March 28, the Speaker urged Nana Akufo-Addo to know the boundaries of his powers. 

“There’s no way he can intervene. That answer he gave, wait until we pass it, and we will direct you to execute it, that is where you come in. 

In terms of the law which is part of the policy, we will finalise it, then the executive has the authority to implement it. Let’s get this clear,” he stated.

The Speaker also berated US Vice President Kamala Harris for her comments on Ghana’s position on LGBTQ+ issues.

According to him, the US Vice President’s assertion regarding the matter does not sit well with his conviction.

He described her comments as undemocratic and “should not be tolerated.”

“What is democracy? That someone should have to dictate to me what is good and what is bad? Unheard of, because we have decided to devalue ourselves and go begging? Come on, we have more than enough. 

God has created more than enough for every person, the Bill will be passed,” Mr Bagbin said. 

This was after Kamala Harris was asked about the development at the Jubilee House on Monday. 

Madam Harris did not directly address the Anti-gay bill in Ghana’s Parliament but restated her stance on human right violation against minorities adding that her position remains unchanged.

She told the gathering “I feel very strongly about the importance of supporting freedom and supporting the fighting for equality among all people, and that all people be treated equally. I will also say that this is an issue that we consider, and I consider to be a human rights issue, and that will not change.”

These comments Speaker Bagbin has taken issues. 

What did President Akufo-Addo say?

President Akufo-Addo during the meeting with the US Vice President indicated that the substantial elements of the Anti-LGBTQI bill, which is currently before Parliament, have been modified.

He explained that the modification was done upon the intervention of the Attorney-General, adding that the final outcome is yet to be determined.

President Akufo-Addo added he will intervene in the passage of same when he finds an issue with any of the clauses. 

President Akufo-Addo also dismissed claims that there is already legislation governing the activities of the LGBQI+ fraternity in the country.

Clarifying the matter, he noted that the Anti-LGBTQI bill has not been passed yet.

“The statement that there is legislation to that effect is not accurate,” he emphasised.

About the bill 

It would be recalled that on July 2021, eight members of Parliament introduced the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, popularly known as the Anti-LGBTQ bill.

The bill seeks to criminalise Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) activities in the country.

However, International organizations have raised concerns that the Bill could infringe on the rights of LGBTQ+ persons who are a minority group in the country.

Although the bill is at the consideration stage in Parliament, the Attorney-General says portions are unconstitutional.

Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame explained that some of the “provisions will violate some fundamental human rights and freedoms, particularly the right to privacy.

This is contained in a response to a request for memoranda on the position of government by the Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs of Parliament dated October 19, 2022.

According to Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Anti-LGBTQI bill, in its current form, will therefore face some fundamental challenges during its implementation.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.