The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has reiterated the assurance that Parliament will not disappoint Ghanaians in the consideration and passage of the bill against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activities in Ghana.
He stated that Members of Parliament (MP) were representatives of the people, a reason for which the citizens should be rest assured that Parliament would not turn their backs on them.
According to him, he was not sure that any lawmaker would be against the principles of the Bill, saying that “No member will be against it.”
“We represent their interest and we will do what is needful and what is right for the people of this country. Be rest assured that Parliament will not disappoint,” he assured.
LGBTQIA+ ‘Parliament will not disappoint’
Speaking at a press briefing in Parliament Wednesday in reaction to the public debate on the Bill which is currently before Parliament, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said “If we recognise that there are statutes and there are gaps or they are not strong enough and we need tightening, it means that we accept the principle that this whole thing is something that will not sit with public morality in this country.
“…I guess when we come to the bridge, we will certainly will be able to cross it. Where there is a will, there is always a way so whatever happens we should be able to deal with it,” he said.
“I am really impressed by the popular participation exhibited by the people of this country; I would only plead that with the excitement generated, we should not, after the passage of this bill, go to sleep because there are many other bills that are outstanding and we have not been able to deal with including in particular the imperatives of Article 22 which is on property rights of spouses,” he said.
He was joined by a number of the leadership of the majority in the House including the Majority Chief Whip, Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh; the First Deputy Majority Whip, Lydia Seyram Alhassan and the Second Deputy Majority Whip, Mr Habib Iddrisu.
‘We have our own set of values’
The minister noted that the first provision of Article 125 of the Constitution was emphatic that justice emanated from the people, who had their own set of values and concept of what was right and wrong.
He said regardless of the region the people came from, it was their unique set of values “that guards us in life and it is the reason why because the Constitution provides that justice emanates from the people.”
“As a Christian, who belong to the Assemblies of God, I cannot say that my upbringing has not been impacted by my Christian values, equally so for the honourable Habib Iddrisu, Second Deputy Majority Whip, who is here by me and is a Muslim and his upbringing is also impacted by his religion.
“But we have our own set of values and I really do not know of any ethnic group in Ghana who would applaud the issues about LGBTQIA+,” he said.
Cut off emotions
The MP for Suame indicated that MPs had listened to the concerns expressed by Ghanaians and the House would do the needful.
“My plea is that those of them who are making contributions and calling into radio and television stations, we should cut off the emotions and sentiments because once we do that it clouds the rationality of the issues,” he appealed.
With the Bill having passed through the first reading and referred to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to handle, he said the citizens had the right to exercise popular participation by discussing the issues.
more to follow…