A known member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has stated his opposition to the controversial Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill popularly referred to as anti-LGBTQI+ Bill.
Mr. Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko insists he is a proud Ghanaian and cherishes all Ghanaian values which includes tolerance.
According to him, as a result of that, he will continue to defend the rights of minority groups everywhere.
He said he is not shy to say he is against the bill.
He made these comments in a Twitter post on Thursday, November 11, 2021.
“I am against the anti-gay bill & not shy to say so. I am a proud Ghanaian who cherishes all that is good about our value systems, including tolerance.”
“And, I will defend the right of minorities everywhere. I have the courage and a sense of justice to disagree with the majority.”
One of the lead sponsors of the private member’s bill, the NDC MP for Ningo-Prampram, Mr. Sam George, appears not to have taken Gabby’s comment lightly as he responded to him on Twitter.
Mr. Sam George in a Twitter post said he is also against nepotism, cronyism and despotism which are not part of Ghana’s values.
“Is nepotism, cronyism and despotism part of our value systems? You can be against the Bill and that’s fine, but so am I against the corruption and misrule of your Cousin. As for the Bill nu, we go pass am p33. Grab a drink and popcorn and watch something. Cheers.”
Earlier in the day, a group of Concerned Ghanaian Citizens asked the Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament to recommend an outright rejection of the bill to the plenary.
Among other things, they argued that a Bill of this nature could only be tabled by the executive arm of government.
“Our respectful submission here is that the Bill has been introduced in Parliament, not in the manner laid down. This is because this is a private member’s Bill and under Article 108 of the constitution it is the President or his agents who can introduce Bills generally in Parliament, and where a Bill does not impose a charge on the Consolidated Fund or any public funds, then it may be introduced by any Private Bill,” spokespersons for the group, Akoto Ampaw said.
He said there will be extensive duties and costs on the Ghana Police Service if the proposed law is effectively enforced.
The therapy and medical outline in the bill may also be funded by the state, Mr. Ampaw argued further.
“These clearly imposed costs, charges on the Consolidated Fund, and therefore ought not to have been introduced [by a private member’s Bill],” Mr. Ampaw said.
Support for the Bill
The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council and The Church of Pentecost also appeared before the committee to reiterate their commitment to getting the Bill passed.
A Representative of the Pentecost Church, Elder Peter Kaba, for example, asked Parliament to make a decision that is consistent with the view of the majority of Ghanaians on the issue.
“The youth see the institution of marriage as a union established and ordained by God for the life-long and intimated relation by the male Homo sapiens and female Homo sapiens as defined at conception,” he said.
The Committee has received over 150 memoranda from religious bodies, civil society groups, and citizens on the controversial subject of sexual orientation.
The Bill prescribes that people of the same sex who engage in sexual activity could spend up to 10 years in jail.
Varying forms of support for the LGBTQ+ community will also be criminalized if the Bill, known as the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, is passed into law.