The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has welcomed the raging debate on the Promotion of Proper Sexual Human Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 currently before Parliament.
The party is particularly happy that conversations around the Bill are moving away from attacks to what “Ghanaian values” are and the determination of what constitutes “human rights within that value system.”
Addressing the media on Friday, October 15, 2021, the Director of Communications at the NPP, Yaw Buaben Asamoa said, the submissions of memoranda both in favour of the Bill and against it are indicative that Ghana is a democratic country.
“Heated public debate surrounding the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021 is gradually settling into contributions about values. From extremist language against proponents and opponents, many are now moving away from simplistic attacks. Parliament has initiated a consultative process with a call for memoranda. We are told over a hundred written submissions for and against the bill have been received”, he said.
The Proper Sexual Human Rights and Ghanaians Family Values Bill which is currently before Parliament’s Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee is being sponsored by eight MPs, seven of whom are on the Minority side.
The bill has generated some widespread conversation, with many expressing varied views about some clauses in the document.
A number of people and institutions have filed memoranda in support of the bill and to help fine-tune it.
A number of renowned legal, academic and civil society professionals have also filed documents challenging the legislation.
In the memorandum, they contend that the bill is an “impermissible invasion of the inviolability of human dignity.”
They further argued that pushing through the Bill will be to challenge Ghana’s constitution and democracy.
However, Mr. Asamoa believes these debates are healthy for the country.
“Even before the passage of the bill through Parliament, major lessons have been learnt. The first is that democratic practice is at its best when there is an open and free expression of views, irrespective of the accompanying heat. The second is that everyone must take responsibility and stand up for their views and value propositions, whether such views are popular or not.”
“The broad diversity of input from all facets of Ghanaian society, including but not limited to religious groups, traditional leaderships, academia, the legal fraternity, frontline politicians, media practitioners, home-makers, artisans, and ordinary people facilitated by the media, shows a Ghanaian political public rapidly maturing into the ethos of participation”, Mr. Asamoa added.
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also assured that Parliament would not be pressured by international relations to go against Ghana’s interests.
He cited Article 40 (a) of Ghana’s constitution as “the driving principle that should underpin our international relations.”
“In its dealings with other nations, the government shall promote and protect the interests of Ghana,” Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu quoted from the constitution.