National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George, says the decision to sponsor the explicit criminalization of LGBTQI+ activities in the country is not politically motivated but a national agenda.
In recent times, the LGBTQI+ community in Ghana has featured prominently in the news, especially after the arrest of 21 activists in the Volta Regional capital, Ho, and the closing down of a supposed LGBTQI+ camp at Ashongman in Accra.
The two incidents reignited the public debate on the subject with some legislators including the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, publicly declaring their interest in criminalizing all forms of LGBTQI+ activities.
Speaking on Face to Face on Citi TV, Mr. Nartey stated that he is positive that if other Members of Parliament in any way felt that the Bill was politically motivated, he would not have received their support.
“I am pretty confident that at least 90% of the MPs support this bill. They meet me in the walkway and urge me on. I would not want to mention names because I understand the challenges some of them might be going through, however, I would not want to pass judgement on them. I, for one, represents two traditional councils and both of them have given me express approval to pursue this bill.”
“MP for Tamale Central, Alhassan Fuseini, is pained that his name is not assigned to this bill because he has been advocating for this all along, so there is overwhelming support. We can also refer to the submission of the Deputy Minister for Fisheries, Moses Anim, on the floor of Parliament. Majority of the NPP MPs who have spoken to me are with me. The Director of Communications for the NPP in the UK [has also urged me on]. In the same way, there are some NDC MPs who may not be happy about this. This is not political, it is a national agenda to save our culture,” he insisted.
Sam George; 7 other MPs sponsor bill for criminalization LGBTQI+ activities
Eight members of Ghana’s Parliament jointly submitted a private bill to push for the criminalization of LGBTQI+ activities in Ghana.
The bill, which they term as a ‘Bill on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values’, was presented to the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin on Tuesday, June 29, 2021.
The proponents of the bill want the promotion, advocacy, funding, and acts of homosexuality to be criminalized in the country.
Sam George, who led the MPs to make the presentation, said it “it is a landmark legislation that has taken the last 14 weeks working with a fantastic team of professionals to put together. It is in my humble opinion a world-class piece of legislation which should be reference material for other Parliaments seeking to pass similar legislation.”
Others have also called for a review of Ghana’s laws to be more accommodating of minority groups, as many countries are decriminalizing homosexuality.
In February 2020 for instance, the then Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, warned the World Bank against homosexuality conditions in development assistance to Ghana.
The current Speaker of Parliament has also spoken about his commitment towards the passage of a new law to deal with homosexuality.