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General News of Friday, 30 July 2021


Anti-Gay bill gazetted, to be laid for first reading on Monday

Sam George, MP, Ningo Prampram Sam George, MP, Ningo Prampram

The Bill that seeks to criminalize homosexuality in Ghana has been duly gazetted.

It is expected to be laid for the first reading on 2nd August 2021.

One of the sponsors of the bill, Samuel Nartey George who is a lawmaker for Ningo Prampram said on Friday, July 30 that “The Bill has duly been gazetted and sent to the Business Committee of the House.

“It is great to see the Bill has been programmed to be laid for first reading on Monday, 2nd August. Our eyes remain fixed on the prize.”

Sam George is receiving flak from some quarters for sponsoring the anti-LGBT+ agenda.

For instance, Ghanaian musician Sister Derby who is also a known advocate of LGBT+ rights in Ghana “obsessed with people’s sexual orientation” and tagged him as a pervert and backward thinker.”

But he responded by saying he is opened to intellectual debate on the anti-LGBT+ Bill he and some of his colleague lawmakers are sponsoring.

Speaking on TV3’s News 360 on Friday, July 23, he said emotional outbursts have no place in legislation.

“We are opened to intellectual criticisms or criticisms and suggestions grounded in law. Emotional outburst emotional comments have no place in legislation

“In anybody has intellectual suggestions or addition we are willing to debate the issue.”

But President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice, Mr Edward Amoako Asante endorsed the move by Ghana to criminalize homosexuality in the country.

He said the human rights argument being made in favour of homosexuality should be dismissed because the customs and traditions of the people which frown on such acts supersede that human right claim.

“People claim it is a human right but rights and privileges move together and human rights which are contrary to custom and tradition may not be entertained because in every country there are customs and traditions.

“Basically, all these laws thrive on customs and traditions of the people. Therefore if a massive number of people think that tradition frowns over these things then basically we can tread cautiously. But then Ghana I think should outlaw that LGBT so that it does not permeate society at all.

“In Nigeria for example, it is a crime so Ghana is not going to lead the way, Ghana is further going to cement and support what others have done,” he told TV3’S Komla Klutse in an interview on Tuesday, July 27.

The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr Sidie Mohammed Tunis, for his part asked Ghana to be cautious in attempts to criminalize homosexuality in the country.

He told TV3 in an interview on Tuesday, July 27 that Ghana must be careful with this bill especially if it is not in the interest of the public.

“As ECOWAS generally, we do not interfere in the domestic affairs of member countries however, if we find out there are issues that will bring about human rights issue, that will bring about insecurity, that will bring about undemocratic principles we will come in.

When asked whether Ghana should be cautious with this bill he answered “ I believe so, If it is not in the interest of the people.”