All Ghanaian MPs have unanimously backed the approval of the “Promotion of Proper Sexual Human Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021” popularly known as anti-LGBTQ+ bill.
This was during the second reading of the bill in Parliament on Tuesday, July 5, 2023, in a story filed by Top News Parliamentary Correspondent Yesmeen Abubakar Tetteh
During the debate of the Private Members’ Bill (PMB) which was introduced by eight (8) Members of Parliament from both sides of the House—seven from the NDC and One from the NPP, the Speaker asked whether any of the country’s MPs were against the bill, which was met by a deafening silence from each side of the aisle.
The lead sponsor of the bill, Samuel Nartey George, on behalf of the group of 8 MPs, laid the Bill in Parliament on Monday, August 2, 2021.
The object of the bill, as contained in the memorandum which accompanied it, is to provide for proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values; proscribe LGBTQ+ and related activities; prescribe propaganda of, advocacy for, or promotion of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and related activities; provide for the protection and support of children, persons who are victims or accused of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and related activities, and other persons; and related matters.
In line with the best practice of law-making, the Committee advertised the Bill in relevant print media and Parliament’s website for interested persons to submit memoranda.
The Bill received so much popularity and dominated the media space for some time An overwhelming number of Ghanaians, including religious groups, human rights activists, State institutions, traditional authorities, concerned individuals, and United Nations organisations with mandates on human rights, submitted memoranda, totalling about two hundred (200).
Recognising the massive public and global interest in the Bill, amidst Ghana’s obligation under the international human rights treaties and conventions, the Committee held public hearings to give individuals and organisations who have submitted memoranda on the Bill the opportunity to justify their submissions and offer a further explanation of their views on the matter.
The committee also undertook study visits to countries with anti-LGBTQ+ or pro-LGBTQ+ legislations to understand the rationale and specific country moral value underpinnings, vis-à-vis compliance level with International Human Right Treaties.
Presenting the report of the Committee to Parliament on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, Chairman Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, noted that even though the majority of Ghanaians were in favour of the passage of the Bill, there were significant human rights concerns which are worthy of consideration.
The Bill comprises twenty-five (25) clauses and is divided into seven sections under the following:
(a) Preliminary Provisions (Clauses 1 to 2) – contains provisions on the application of the Bill and interpretations.
(b) Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values (Clauses 3 to 5) – deals with imposition of a duty to promote proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values, prohibitions against undermining proper sexual human rights and Ghanaian family values and duty to report.
(c) LGBTTQQIAAP+ and Related Activities (Clauses 6 to 11) concerned about the prohibition of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and related activities, procuration, detention with intent to commit prohibited
sexual activity, keeping a brothel for prohibited sexual activity, prohibition of gross indecency, and void marriage.
(d) LGBTTQQIAAP+ Propaganda, Advocacy, Support and Other Promotional Activities (Clauses 12 to 16) deals with the prohibition of propaganda of, promotion of and advocacy for activities prohibited under this act, prohibition of propaganda of, promotion of and advocacy for activities directed at a child, prohibition of funding or sponsorship for prohibited activities, disbandment of LGBTTQQIAAP + group, society, association, club or organisation, and prohibition of LGBTTQQIAAP+ group, society, association, club, or organisation.
(e) Protection and Support for Children (Clauses 17 to 18) contains provisions for the prohibition of adoption orders for LGBTTQQIAAP+ persons and prohibition of a grant of fosterage for LGBTTQQIAAP+ persons.
(f) Protection and Support for Victims, Accused and Other Persons (Clauses 19 to 23)provides for the protection of victims of prohibited sexual activities, access to medical help or treatment by the accused, flexible sentencing, prohibition of extra-judicial treatment, and assistance for questioning and intersex persons.
(g)Miscellaneous Provisions (Clauses 24 to 25) deal with regulations and com sequential amendments.