The Member of Parliament for the Adansi Asokwa constituency, KT Hammond has given the strongest indication that the much talked about anti-LGBTQI Bill currently before Parliament will get the full support of the house if it is laid.
He has audaciously declared that all 137 MPs of the Majority Caucus are in favour of the Proper Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill.
Speaking on the subject on Citi TV‘s Face to Face program, the vociferous legislator explained that although the Bill will be fine-tuned to ensure that it does not infringe on the rights of citizens, he was however quick to add his firm conviction that the Bill will be passed to criminalize LGBTQI+ rights and its related activities.
“I don’t think this Bill will go up wholesale. The Bill will definitely be scrutinized, so we make sure it doesn’t offend the rights of anyone and get the consideration right. But absolutely, all the 137 NPP MPs are in support of this Bill,” he stated.
When host, Umaru Sanda Amadu asked Mr. Hammond to come to terms with the arguments raised by persons against the Bill, the MP said he cannot fathom why some individuals will throw support to encourage gay rights.
In expressing the support of his colleague MPs, the former Deputy Energy Minister categorically stated that never will the country give room to LGBTQI+ rights under the current Parliament.
He added that the silence of the Majority Caucus of Parliament should be seen as their support for the Bill and not to be misconstrued to be mean complete disapproval to have the Bill passed.
“What we are saying is that we will not allow the proponents of LGBTQI+ rights to pollute the public morals of this country… We will not agree. Those kicking against the bill have no vote in Parliament. We will bring the law out, and we are clear in our minds that if the Bill comes to Parliament we will support it.”
“The bottom-line so far as I am concerned is that we [Parliament] will not allow homosexuality to take seed in Ghana; whichever form that will get it going, we will not allow that. I am very confident about that. There are other MPs with a kind of hatred for this Bill. You have no idea. There are those who are even more passionate than I am. They might not have publicly come out to say it, but we simply do not want to hear anything LGBTQI+, period. “, KT Hammond said.
Careful balance needed in assessing anti-LGBTQ Bill – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has stressed the need for a “careful balance” in assessing the anti-LGBTQ Bill.
In comments that shied away from taking a stance on the Bill, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said “we are a democratic country and Parliament should ensure that the rights of citizens are protected.”
While he said democracy is about majority rule, he added that “it doesn’t also mean we should trample on the rights of others.”
“The appropriate thing will be done,” Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu remarked further on Parliament’s consideration of the Bill.
The Majority Leader 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.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu’s fellow leader in the Majority, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, said the anti-LGBTQ Bill needed some changes from its current form.
Mr. Annoh-Dompreh, the Majority Chief Whip, described the Bill as defective and said “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 three decades.”