The Member of Parliament for Asante-Akim Central has said lawmakers on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will not bow to pressure to urge the plenary to pass the anti-gay bill.
The MP, Kwame Anyimadu Antwi who doubles as the Chairman of Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee’s comments come in the wake of an intense public outrage and the submission of 124 memoranda to the Committee.
The Committee has been tasked by the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, 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 criminalization of LGBTQI+ activities in the country.
But some individuals have sent a memorandum to the House to thrash the anti-LGBTQ bill because they claim it violates most of the fundamental human rights of Ghanaians.
The individuals, which include legal practitioners and professors stated that aside from violating the key fundamental freedoms under the constitution, the bill also violates the dignity and inviolability of every person guaranteed under Article 21 of the constitution.
“The Bill violates the right to inviolability of the person. It violates virtually all the key fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution, namely the right to freedom of speech and expression; the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and belief; the freedom to practice any religion and to manifest such in practice (which includes the freedom not to practice any religion); the right to assemble, including the freedom to take part in processions and demonstrations; the freedom of association and the right to organize- in essence, the fundamental human rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution,” the individuals stated in a memo.
The memo further noted that: “In addition, the provisions of the Bill violates the dignity and inviolability of every person, guaranteed under Article 15; it violates the principle of equality before the law, and the right to freedom from discrimination on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social-economic status, guaranteed under Article 11, as well as the right to privacy guaranteed under Article 18 of the Constitution.
“In short, the provisions of the Bill are so egregious in their violation of the fundamental human rights and freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution that it beggars belief that it could be introduced as a Bill in the House of Parliament.”
The team pushing for the bill to be thrashed includes Akoto Ampaw, Prof Emerita Takyiwaa Manuh, Prof Kwame KariKari, Prof Kofi Gyimah-Boadi, and Prof Audrey Gadzekpo.
The others are Dr. Rose Kutin-Mensah, Dr. Yao Graham, Prof Dzodzi Tsikata, Prof H. Kwasi Prempeh, Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, Dr. Kojo Asante, Akunu Dake, Tetteh Homerku-Adjei, Prof Raymond Atuguba and Kofi Ofei-Nkansah.
The NPP MP speaking on the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill such threats will not work.
Speaking on JoyNews, Anyimadu said, “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?”