The ongoing debate surrounding the Promotion of Proper Sexual Human Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill has sparked differing opinions among Members of Parliament (MPs). In a recent development, Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, has urged MPs who oppose the bill to openly voice their concerns and suggestions. This article explores Bagbin’s call for transparency and the implications it holds for the legislative process.
Unanimous Support or Dissent?
During the bill’s deliberation, Andy Appiah Kubi, the MP for Asante Akyem North and a member of the Majority Caucus, asserted that all MPs unanimously support the bill. However, Bagbin has emphasized the importance of ensuring open dialogue and representation of diverse viewpoints. In light of this, he has urged MPs who disagree with the alleged unanimous support to make their opposition known.
Welcoming Dissenting Voices:
Bagbin’s appeal for MPs to express their dissenting opinions on the anti-gay bill demonstrates a commitment to upholding democratic principles and allowing for comprehensive discussions. By encouraging transparency, Bagbin acknowledges that diverse perspectives are essential for robust debates and effective lawmaking. This approach fosters an environment conducive to thorough examination and the consideration of alternative viewpoints.
Opportunity for Amendments:
Recognizing that not all MPs are in agreement, Bagbin has expressed his willingness to allow for proper amendments to the bill. This commitment highlights the Speaker’s dedication to ensuring that all concerns and suggestions are taken into account during the legislative process. By offering the opportunity for amendments, Bagbin ensures that the final version of the bill reflects the collective wisdom and varied viewpoints of the House.
Fostering Constructive Dialogue:
Bagbin’s call for MPs to express their dissenting views not only promotes transparency but also encourages constructive dialogue among legislators. Robust debates and the exchange of ideas can lead to a more refined and inclusive legislative framework. By fostering an environment that welcomes differing opinions, Bagbin contributes to the democratic process and strengthens the credibility of Ghana’s parliamentary system.
The call by Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, for MPs who oppose the Promotion of Proper Sexual Human Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill to make their concerns known signifies a commitment to open dialogue and transparency. By providing an opportunity for dissenting voices, Bagbin ensures that all viewpoints are considered during the legislative process. This approach promotes robust debates, fosters constructive dialogue, and reinforces the democratic principles that underpin Ghana’s parliamentary system. Through an inclusive and comprehensive discussion, the House can work towards a bill that reflects the diverse perspectives and values of the nation.
Ghana’s Anti-LGBT Bill
The Ghanaian anti-LGBT bill (or formally Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill) is a proposed law in Ghana that would introduce wide-ranging restrictions on LGBT+ rights.Homosexuality in Ghana was first criminalized under the Offenses Against the Person Act 1861, when Ghana was under British rule. The Act was implemented in all British colonies. Following independence, Section 104 of the Ghanaian Criminal Code of 1960 criminalized “unnatural carnal knowledge”
Summary of Anti-Gay Bill
The bill is 36 pages long and describes its objective as “to provide for proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values; proscribe LGBTQ+ and related activities; proscribe propaganda of, advocacy for or promotion of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and related activities; provide for the protection of and support for children, persons who are victims or accused of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and related activities and other persons; and related matters.
Among the provisions of the bill are:
- 3 to 5 years of imprisonment for engaging in same-sex intercourse;
- 5 to 10 years of imprisonment for anyone who produces, procures, or distributes material deemed to be promoting LGBT+ activities;
- A requirement for citizens and institutions to “promote and protect proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values”;
- 6 months to 1 year imprisonment for a “public show of amorous relations” between people of the same sex;
- 6 months to 1 year imprisonment for a “public show of amorous relations ” with someone who has undergone gender reassignment or who cross-dresses;
- A ban on providing trans healthcare;
- Forced disbanding of all LGBT+ associations in Ghana, along with 6 to 10 years of imprisonment for anyone taking part in such an association;
- A ban on sponsoring LGBT+ groups;
- A clause that holds owners of digital platforms or physical premises in which LGBT+ groups organise equally guilty of promoting LGBT+ activities;
- Prohibition of same-sex marriage;
- Prohibition of marriage to people who have undergone gender reassignment;
- 6 to 10 years of imprisonment for anyone who teaches children about LGBT+ activities or teaches that there are more genders than the gender binary;
- A ban on adoption and fostering for LGBT+ potential parents;
- 6 months to 3 years imprisonment for anyone who harasses someone accused of being LGBT+;
- A clause allowing the government to identify questioning and intersex people and intervene, such as through therapy or through medical treatment to align an intersex person with the gender binary;
- A clause allowing the government to extradite people convicted under the bill.