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ANTI-GAY BILL: GHANA CAN’T GO THE WAY UGANDA DID – Speaker Bagbin

Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin, has espoused that although Ghana is seeking to pass the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, popularly known as the Anti-Gay Bill, it cannot go the same way Uganda did in passing its bill.

Last week, Uganda’s Parliament passed the bill into law.

This made it a crime to identify as LGBTQ, handing authorities broad powers to target gay Ugandans who already face legal discrimination and mob violence.

The law bans promoting and abetting homosexuality as well as conspiracy to engage in homosexuality.

Violations under the law draw severe penalties, including death for so-called aggravated homosexuality and life in prison for gay sex. Aggravated homosexuality involves gay sex with people under the age of 18 or when the perpetrator is HIV positive, among other categories, according to the law, Reuters reported.

Ghana’s Parliament is also handling the antigay bill.

Speaker Bagbin has told the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee of Parliament not to be intimidated by anyone regarding this Bill.

He asked the committee to report back to him if they are encountering any challenges.

“Please, committee members that we referred the Bill to, we want the report, don’t be intimidated by any person,” he said during a breakfast meeting with the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship on Tuesday, March 28.

He added “Please let the report flow, we need to legislate. Our friends just passed their law in Uganda, we may not go the way they have gone, our Constitution is very clear as to the direction we should move and so we should be guided by that because if we pass any law against the Constitution, it is unconstitutional.”

His comments come at a time President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo dissociated from the Anti-Gay Bill.

Proposed under a Private Members’ Bill, the anti-gay bill is expected to criminalise some of the activities of homosexuals in Ghana.

Answering a question put to him at the Jubilee House on Monday, March 27 when US Vice President Kamala Harris called on him, President Akufo-Addo confirmed that the bill is currently before Parliament, which will decide on it, but most of its provisions are being fine-tuned.

“It hasn’t been passed, so the statement that there is a legislation in Ghana to that effect is not accurate,” he said.

“Parliament is dealing with it and at the end of the process, I will come in,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo welcomed US Vice President Harris to the seat of government as part the latter’s three-day visit to the country.

She stressed how strongly she feels about the importance of supporting and fighting for the cause of human rights including rights of LGBTQs.

 

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