Parliament begins consideration stage of anti-gay bill

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Parliament has begun the consideration stage of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values, 2021 bill.

Often labeled as anti-gay or anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, the House introduced amendments on Friday to refine the bill, aiming to conclude deliberations in preparation for the third reading.

Tensions escalated earlier in the week when the First Deputy Speaker rejected a request to expedite the bill to the consideration stage, leading to frustration among its supporters.

Allegations surfaced, accusing the Majority leadership of obstructing the bill’s progress.

Samuel Nartey George, the co-sponsor of the bill and MP for Ningo Prampram, even threatened to expose the Majority MPs allegedly influenced by advocates for LGBTQ+ activities.

Attempting to ease tensions, Speaker of the House Alban S.K. Bagbin assured that the bill would be enacted before the House’s festive season recess.

He emphasized the collective anticipation to promptly address the legislation, warning of potential consequences for members’ political careers if the bill is not enacted before the recess.

“I know that nobody in this House is opposed to the bill, and I know the bill will see the light of day before we rise because the people of Ghana are expecting us to pass the bill before we go on recess. Failure to do so will have serious consequences on members as they want to advance in their political careers,” Speaker Bagbin stated.

Contrary to allegations of sabotaging the bill, the Majority Caucus refuted such claims with Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee in Parliament, highlighting underlying issues in the bill causing delays.

He affirmed that the entire Majority membership supports the bill but cautioned that continued posturing by the sponsors could compel a withdrawal of this support.

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