Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, has rejected a directive given by Speaker pf Parliament Alban Bagbin to the effect that passing of the anti-gay bill will be public.
In his view, there is nothing special about the anti-gay bill for which it should be treated in this manner.
Speaking on the Key Points on TV3/3FM on Saturday October 30 with host Dzifa Bampoh, he said “Not only is this a bill driven by a lot of populists, now you want to use populist means to rush it through parliament.
“There is no reason why this bill should get any special treatment from the speaker of from any member or parliament. I in princ9opl,e am in favour of members of Parliament , the votes that they cast on all matters to be known because if you are a representative of a constituency you represent us in Parliament , that is the principle then we must know how you are representing us.
“It has to apply to everything. There shouldn’t be special rules or special dispensation made for this bill, it doesn’t deserve it , there is no reason why it should be given that kind of dispensation.”
The controversial anti-gay bill which is currently before parliament has already divided opinion in the Ghanaian public discourse.
While some, particularly the religious and traditional groupings, have supported the Bill and hopeful of its passing, others say it could incur the wrath of the international community against Ghana.
For instance, a private legal practitioner Mr Akoto Ampaw has said the way and manner the bill has been designed indicates the extremism of the mind frame that produced it.
He is totally against the bill and wants it abandoned.
“The fact that the bill goes to that extent of criminalizing somebody who is an intersex or criminalizing somebody who is asexual, this is a meaningless project, shows the extremism of the mind frame that produced that bill,” he said on TV3’s Key Points with Dzifa Bampoh on Saturday October 9.
He further said the current debate on homosexuals in Ghana is not about religious beliefs or numbers.
“First of all, I want to make the point clear that this debate is not about religious beliefs.
“Secondly, this debate is not about numbers. It is not lining up how many people support gays -30million, how many people are against gay – 2million, that is not the issue.
“The fundamental issue has to do with our constitution and rights .That is the basic issue that we have to address.”
He added “It is a bit gratifying that just recently the Majority leader in Parliament said that the matter will not be discussed on the basis of religious beliefs. I think that is a major step forward if that is how parliament is going to address this matter. It is a constitutional matter.”
Several bodies including the Ghana Catholic Bishop Conference have said that want homosexuality to be illegal in Ghana.
The Bishops described the practice as abomination on the basis of scriptures in the Holy Bible.
“As a Church, we want this abominable practice made illegal in our country… The Bible, which is foundational to Christian beliefs and practices, condemns the practice,”
“Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil, and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder…
“The Church rejects the unfounded and demeaning assumption that the sexual behaviour of homosexual persons is always and very compulsive and, therefore, they should not be blamed for their homosexual acts,” a statement they issued said.
It added “Nevertheless, according to the Church’s understanding of human rights, the rights of homosexuals as persons do not include the right of a man to marry a man or of a woman to marry a woman. For the Church, this is morally wrong and goes against God’s purpose for marriage. We should also point out that the European Court for Human Rights has ruled that same-sex “marriages” are not considered a human right, making it clear that homosexual partnerships do not in fact equal marriages between a man and a woman. The ruling was announced 9th June 2016 in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.”
Meanwhile, the dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Professor Kofi Abotsi has said the debates for gay rights or criminalization in Ghana is unwinnable.
According to him, both sides are digging in and positions are becoming irrational and untenable.
“The debates for gay rights or criminalization is unwinnable! Both sides are digging in and positions are becoming irrational & untenable and this is crowding out good reasons and circumspection as lawmakers ponder the bill & it’s intents!” he said in a tweet on Thursday October 7.
The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill was laid in the House on Monday, August 2 and read for the first time.
Reading for the first time, a clerk in the legislative assembly stated that the Bill proscribes lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) and other related activities and propaganda or advocacy and promotion for same.
It also came to light that it supports protection for children and persons who are victims or accused of homosexuality.
Second Deputy Speaker Andrew Asiamah Amoako referred the Bill to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Committee for consideration.
“For the first time, it is referred to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for consideration and report,” Mr Asiamah Amoako, who is also the MP for Fomena, directed.
The Chairman of the Pentecost Church, Apostle Eric Nyamekye has asked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to fight Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex (LGBTQI+) before he exits office.
He said although Mr Akufo-Addo has stated categorically that gayism and lesbianism will not be legalized under his watch, the President must begin to take measures to stop the gayism movement that has started in the country before he exits office.
“The church of Pentecost is 10.38 per cent of the Ghanaian population and we are against this LGBTQI+.
“Our concern is not about today, it is about the future. Today when we let in this LGBTI what is going to happen is that we are going to accept same sex marriage which the president says it is never going to happen at his watch.
“But if he allows LGBTQI to start, it is true that it is never going to happen at his watch but, by the time it gets to same sex marriage the president will not be the president of the nation. I agree with him but he should stop this, he should close the doors at where it matters and we are saying that he should close it now.
“This movement is an insult to God the creature, you are just telling God that he didn’t think enough,” he told journalists on Wednesday October 6.
The Church of Pentecost on Wednesday presented a memo to parliament in support of the steps taken to pass the anti-gay bill which is currently before the legislature.
The memo was presented to the lawmakers on Wednesday October 6.