Friday, 23 February

Parliament starts considering anti-LGBTQ+ Bill

Parliament of Ghana

On Friday, 8 December 2023, Parliament initiated deliberations on the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, navigating it through the consideration stage with the aim of aligning it with existing Ghanaian laws.

The bill, subject to months of stagnation, faced accusations from its proponents who alleged collusion between certain Members of Parliament and pro-LGBT campaigners to impede its progress. 

Lead campaigner Sam Nartey George, in a press conference, admonished those influenced by pro-LGBT individuals to retract their support, vowing to fight against any obstruction.

“Since 8 AM this morning, we have been calling the chairman of the committee, and he has refused to pick up the call or return the call", Mr Nattey George said at the press conference.

He alleged that some individuals on the majority side have been compromised by people with LGBT+ interests.

"Those who have gone and gotten influenced by people who have an interest in LGBTQ+ should return whatever influence they have collected because we will fight", he noted.

He then threatened: "The next time we address the media, I will mention names. I have been impressed upon today, by my co-sponsors not to. It is out of respect that I’m not mentioning names", he said., warning: "But if they continue with this behaviour of frustrating the bill [I'll mention names]".

He fumed: "How can this bill be in Parliament for almost three years? This is a calculated attempt to disgrace and undermine the authority of the Speaker and we will not accept it,” he said.

Mr Nartey George said: "Ghanaians should take note; the Christian community, the Muslim community, the traditionalists, the National House of Chiefs, CSOs should take note of the actions of people in this house who want to slow down the bill.

He said the anti-LGBT+ train is moving and "those who think they can stand in its way, we will crush you".

Despite the absence of the Chairman of the Constitution and Legal Affairs Committee, work on the bill proceeded. Earlier in the week, a similar absence had halted progress, with Deputy Majority Chief Whip Lydia Alhassan attributing the delay to the chairman's indisposition. 

Mr Sam George contested this explanation, stating that such excuses were inconsistent with parliamentary practice.

The bill, drawing significant local and international attention, seeks to restrict the recognition and advocacy of LGBTQI+ rights in Ghana.