The controversial ‘Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill’ 2021, on August 2, 2021, was duly laid before parliament for presentation and first reading.
The bill, dubbed the anti-LGBTQ bill, prescribes that people of the same sex who engage in sexual activity could be fined or jailed between three to five years. This piece of legislation has invoked mixed reactions from the public but appears to enjoy cross-party support from both sides of the house
The Bill is a private members’ legislation sponsored by eight Members of Parliament, out of which seven are from the minority caucus and one from the majority caucus.
They are; Hon. Samuel Nartey George, MP for Ningo-Prampram, Hon. Della Adjoa Sowah, MP for Kpando, Hon. Emmauel Kwasi Bedzra, MP for Ho West, Hon. John Ntim Fordjour, MP for Asian South, Hon. Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini, MP for Tamale North, Hon. Rita Naa Odoley Sowah, MP for La Dadekotopon, Hon. Helen Adjoa Ntoso, MP for Krachi West and Hon. Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwame Dafeamekpor, MP for South Dayi.
The Bill is expected to go through the mandatory period of gazetting.
Groups and individuals who advocate for the rights of LGBTQI people or offer support if it’s passed will face sanctions under the law aside from those who engage in it. Surprisingly, the Bill has sparked outrage from human rights activists and persons sympathetic to the LGBTQI community, but the proposed legislation has been welcomed by a significant number of Ghanaians and Christian groups.
However, others have also called for a review of Ghana’s laws to be more accommodating of minority groups, as many countries are decriminalizing homosexuality.
The bill have subsequently been referred to Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee by the Second Deputy Speaker who was presiding at the Time.