The governing New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament for Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro, Sylvester Tetteh, says he’s optimistic Parliament will pass the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill currently before it.
According to him, the bill is of great significance to the country and will enjoy support from both sides of the House.
Sylvester Tetteh, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Communications Committee of Parliament made this known on Joy FM’s Newsfile on Saturday, October 9, 2021.
He, however, asked proponents of the bill to allow and tolerate dissenting views.
Mr. Tetteh explained that would provide an avenue for fine-tuning the bill for the betterment of the country.
“I have had a lot of conversations with chiefs and opinion leaders in my constituency. I think that [there is a] bi-partisan nature of this bill in Parliament. However, we must also be tolerant to other dissenting views, wherever it’s coming from and what the posture is.”
“As for the bill, I pretty much believe if you ask members of parliament, about 90% or more, or unanimously, would love to vote for it,” he said.
He becomes the second MP for the ruling party to openly speak on the bill which has generated widespread controversy after Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh.
Mr. Frank Annoh-Dompreh has said the anti-LGBTQI+ bill before parliament in its current form, requires some changes to make it fit for purpose.
In a tweet, he said the fine-tuning will ensure that rights guaranteed by the country’s constitution are duly protected
“We need to fine-tune it to ensure that it maximizes the protection of rights and freedoms in consonance with democratic principles as we have practiced uninterrupted for over 3 decades,” he said.
Mr. Annoh-Dompreh also expressed worry that the bill, which has generated huge controversy and dominated news headlines for several weeks, has assumed a political twist.
He said while he agrees that there is a need for a bill that protects Ghanaian values, the current bill falls short in doing so.
“It’s unfortunate the LGBTQ bill is being politicized. As the majority caucus in Parliament, we agree in principle that legislation that protects Ghanaian values in all areas of life must be supported. However, the bill, as it is now, is defective,” he said.
About the bill
Some members of Parliament have initiated processes to have a law passed to criminalize LGBTQ+ activities and advocacy.
The bill, dubbed ‘The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021,)’, has received widespread public support, with a section of the public condemning it and describing it as promoting hate.
The Christian Council and the Office of the National Chief Imam have already declared their support for the bill but some academics and civil groups have described the bill as one that intends of promote hate.