We will not be intimidated by threats to pass Anti-LGBTQ+ Bill – Parliamentary Affairs Committee Chair

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The Chairman of Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee says they will not bow to pressure to urge the plenary to pass the anti-gay bill.

Kwame Anyimadu Antwi’s comment comes in the wake of a week of intense public discussion coupled with the submission of 124 memoranda to the Committee.

The Committee has been tasked by the Speaker to review the bill and present a report to the plenary when Parliament resumes later this month.

Eight MPs jointly submitted a private bill to push for the criminalisation of LGBTQI+ activities in the country.

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The bill, which they term as a ‘Bill on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values’, was presented to Speaker Alban Bagbin on June 29, 2021.

The proponents want the promotion, advocacy, funding, and acts of homosexuality to be criminalised in the country.

Some groups have submitted memoranda and issued threats against persons who stand in the way of the bill.

The Church of Pentecost has, in its memoranda to the committee, sent its strongest caution yet to government regarding the legislation against LGBTQ+ and their related activities in Ghana.

National Chairman of the Church, Apostle Eric Nyamekye, said his outfit will vote out any political party that stands against the passage of the Bill.

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But Mr Anyimadu Antwi says such threats will not work.

“That is a threat, and we will not take that. We will not be intimidated by what they are saying to pass the law. But, having received over 100 and something petitions, which do we ignore?” he told the host of JoyNews’ The Probe, Emefa Apawu.

The Chairman of Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee also disagreed with Speaker Alban Bagbin’s statement that the Bill will not have any financial implications for the country’s budget.

Ghana’s constitution bars MPs from introducing bills that will have financial implications.

However, Speaker Alban Bagbin is said to have given this bill the green light as not having such implications.

This Mr Anyimadu Antwi disagrees with.

“That decision that the Speaker made, I do not agree with that. If you criminalize it and a person is sentenced to prison, who’s going to feed the person, so it affects the national purse.”

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