Speaker of the Ghanaian Parliament Alban Bagbin has stated that even though Ghana is attempting to pass the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, which is more commonly known as the Anti-Gay Bill, the country cannot pass the bill in the same manner that Uganda did in passing its bill.
The bill was finally passed into law by Uganda’s Parliament the week before last.
Because of this, it became a crime to identify as LGBTQ, which gave the authorities broad powers to target gay Ugandans, who already face legal discrimination and mob violence.
The law makes it illegal to encourage, aid, or abet homosexual behavior, as well as to conspire to engage in homosexual activity.
When laws are broken, offenders face harsh punishments, including the possibility of being executed for “so-called aggravated homosexuality” and being sentenced to life in prison for engaging in homosexual sex.
According to Reuters, the law defines “aggravated homosexuality” as having “gay sex with people under the age of 18” or “when the perpetrator is HIV positive,” among other scenarios.
The anti-gay bill is also being considered by the Parliament of Ghana.
Concerning this bill, Speaker Bagbin has advised the committee of the Parliament responsible for constitutional, legal, and parliamentary affairs not to let themselves be intimidated by anyone.
He asked the committee to let him know about any problems they might be having.
During a breakfast meeting with the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship on Tuesday, March 28, he addressed the committee members to whom they had referred the bill, stating, “Please, committee members that we referred the bill to, we want the report; don’t be intimidated by anyone.”
In addition, he said, “Please allow the report to flow; we have to legislate.” Our friends in Uganda have just passed their law; we may not go the same route as they have; our Constitution is very clear as to the direction we should move; therefore, we should be guided by that; if we pass any law that is in conflict with the Constitution, it will be unconstitutional.
His remarks come shortly after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo publicly distanced himself from a bill that would criminalize homosexuality.
The anti-gay bill, which has been proposed in the form of a Private Members’ Bill, is anticipated to make certain behaviors associated with homosexuals in Ghana illegal.
In response to a question that was posed to him at the Jubilee House on Monday, March 27, when US Vice President Kamala Harris called on him, President Akufo-Addo confirmed that the bill is currently before Parliament, which will decide on it, but that the majority of its provisions are being fine-tuned.
Harris had called on him as part of her official visit to Ghana.
It hasn’t been passed, so the statement that there is legislation to that effect in Ghana is not accurate, he said. “The statement that there is legislation in Ghana to that effect is not accurate.”
“Parliament is dealing with it, and at the end of the process, I will come in,” he added. “I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.”
During the course of the latter’s three-day visit to the country, US Vice President Harris paid a visit to the seat of government, where he was greeted by President Akufo-Addo.