The Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has said no Member of Parliament is against the principles of the anti-gay bill which is currently before the House.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Tuesday October 12, the Member of Parliament for Suame said “In principle, I am not sure any Member of Parliament will be against the principle of this bill. I am an African, I am a Ghanaian , an Ashanti, Kwabre man and I have my own values.
“I have my own upbringing, one is shaped by my tradition and upbringing. As I have said, along the line, I am Christian, I was born in to As Assemblies of God so my faith also impacts on my upbringing. But that is not the only thing that shapes my upbringing,
“That is why I am saying and I refer to the first provision in Chapter 11 of the Constitution which is Article 125 when it says that justice emanates from the people .
“We have our concept of what is right and what is writing, I don’t know of any ethnic group of this country that will applaud this.”
The controversial anti-gay bill which is currently before parliament has already divided opinion in the Ghanaian public discourse.
While some, particularly the religious and traditional groupings, have supported the Bill and hopeful of its passing, others say it could incur the wrath of the international community against Ghana.
For instance, a private legal practitioner Mr Akoto Ampaw has said the way and manner the bill has been designed indicates the extremism of the mind frame that produced it.
He is totally against the bill and wants it abandoned.
In relation to this matter, one of the sponsors of the bill, Ningo Prampram lawmaker, Sam George had earlier described Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, Kwame Karikari as a hypocrite following his submission on the bill.
He said if he is asked to score Professor Karikari on his submission, he would give him an F.
Prof Karikari had said the bill which Sam George and some of his colleague legislators are promoting is dangerous because it seeks to promote hate for homosexuals in the country.
In the view of Prof Karikari, gays and lesbians are human beings and deserve to be respected and protected as any other person.
To that end, he said, any law that seeks to create problems for this group should be rejected.
He said this while speaking on the First Take with Dzifa Bampoh on 3FM on Monday October 4.
He said he and a few of his colleagues who are fighting for the rights of homosexuals to be respected in Ghana are going to hold a public forum to debate this subject.
“Hopefully, the media may also want to pick up the debate, debate them so that the public will instantly get to know the views that we hold and the views that the proponents of what we considered to be a dangerous bill also hold.
“We think we live in a democracy and we must be grateful to God that we live in a democracy so that whatever parliament, the executive or any branch of government does will be openly discussed and people can therefore take their decisions and then the lawmakers and the executives can also take some wisdom from the public debate.
“We know that most societies have prejudice against homosexuality, lesbianism and these other social practices. We are not at all surprised that the overwhelming majority have prejudiced or even hate these small minority of people in society. We have no problem with that. What we are saying is this.
“This law is setting up the minority up. Our constitution does not discriminate about humans beings unless the proponents of this bill, unless the 95 per cent who say they don’t like homosexuality, we want them to say that homosexuals, lesbians are not human beings. Are they human beings also are they not human beings?
“If they are human beings and they are human beings then we think that they are protected by the constitution so any law that is made to arouse, promote engineer and mobilize hate against that minority is against the rights of those minority people and should not be passed.”
Speaking on the same programme, Sam George said “He has made so many sweeping comments and I expected that he would have been held to strict proof. His argument is hollow and if I was marking this as a script he will score an F.
“This is someone who says the constitution protects people, you [Dzifa Bampoh] read to him a section of the bill which provides protection for persons who identify as LGBTQ from extra judicial treatment and he tells you it is a hoax.
“This is the same person asking us to provide proof of the health challenges, the public risk that the LGBTQ community proposes and he is telling you that our bill is a hoax without any proof.
“Today 4th October, the head of the Ghana AIDS Commission, speaking to another media house in Accra decried the increasing prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Ghana and the fact that HIV prevalence in Ghana is rising. In that interview, he was asked specifically which demographic is pushing this number up, he said men having sex with men. That is the empirical evidence. Now can you ask Prof Kwame Karikari and his cohorts what empirical evidence they have to say that say part of our bill is a hoax? Has he educated himself and has he read the bill or he is basically just running riot in town on the basis of their misconception?”
The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill was laid in the House on Monday, August 2 and read for the first time.