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Parliament to consider LGBTQ+ Bill before going on a break – Majority Leader

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Parliament will certainly find a space to pass the ‘Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2022’ before it goes on recess, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader, has said.

“The LGBTQ+ Bill is before the House, and certainly the House will have to find space to work on it,” he said.

“If we are not able to deal with it this meeting, we have to deal with it in the early part of the next succeeding meeting, which will be the First Meeting of the Fourth Session.”

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, also the Leader of Government Business, said at a Leaders’ Media Briefing held in Parliament on Wednesday.

The Leaders’ engagement is held at the beginning of every Meeting under the auspices of the Media Relations Department of Parliament to ensure an open interaction primarily within the scope of the work agenda of that Meeting among the leaders and the Parliamentary Press Corps.

Mr Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu told the press corps that over 90 bills were expected to be worked on by the House before it went on recess on Friday, December 22, 2023.

Notable among them are Appropriation Bill, Affirmative Action Bill, a Bill regulating the production and manufacturing of vaccines in the country, and one that regulates the activities of the University of Local Governance and Development.

The 2024 Budget Statement would be presented on Wednesday, November 15 2023 by Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, he said.

“Financial and relatable bills are to be dealt with in this Meeting, and we have only six weeks left to rise.”

The House on Wednesday, July 5, this year, unanimously adopted the “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2022.”

The object of the Bill is to provide for proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian Family Values proscribe lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) and related activities.

The Bill, which is now at the consideration stage, will go through the third reading before it is passed into law.

During the second laying of the Bill, when Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin put the question as to which of the 275 Members of Parliament (MPs) was against the adoption of the Bill, the House unanimously voted for its adoption.

The bi-partisan Private Members ‘Bill was introduced by eight MPs, led by Mr Samuel Nartey George, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Ningo-Prampram.

The others were Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, NDC MP for Ho West; Madam Della Adjoa Sowah, NDC MP for Kpando, and Reverend John Ntim Fordjour, a New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Assin South.

The rest were Mr Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini, NDC MP for Tamale North, Madam Rita Naa Odoley Sowah, NDC MP for Dadekotopon, Madam Helen Adjoa Ntoso, NDC MP for Kete Krachi, and Mr Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwami Dafeamekpor, NDC MP for South Dayi.

Contributing to the debate on the motion, Mr George, the Lead Sponsor of the Bill, said:

“The danger of homosexuality is grave, persons who are homosexuals or transgenders from statistics from the CDS have at least six times higher rate of obesity, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts than heterosexual people.

“This has a consequence on our health Bill as a country and public health, and we cannot turn a blind eye to this.”

Mr Bernard Ahiafor, NDC MP for Akatsi South, said the passing the Bill on the Promotion of Proper Sexual Human Rights and Ghanaian Family Values will not violate any international treaty.

Mr Andrew Asiama Amoako, the Second Deputy Speaker, and an Independent Candidate MP for Fomena urged the House to unite to ensure the passage of the Bill.

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