Ghana News

Is promoting homophobic legislation the best way to thank Ghanaian voters? – Prof Gyimah-Boadi asks MPs

Professor Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, says he feels disappointed in Parliament especially with the eight MPs who have drafted a Private Members’ Bill titled: “The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values, Bill 2021,” which seeks to comprehensively outlaw activities of the LGBTQ+ community.

According to the co-founder of Afrobarometer, Parliament has a lot of work to do, therefore, the MPs cannot seek to thank the Ghanaian voter who gave them the mandate with a “homophobic legislation”.

“This Parliament has a lot of work to do; it has a lot of things that it must do to perform its legislative function better, to perform its representative functions better and to especially credibly and diligently oversight the executive. So, when I see and when I heard that they’ve come up or some members of the Ghanaian legislature have come up with this draft legislation, the question in my mind was have they decided that promoting homophobic legislation is the best way for them to thank the Ghanaian voter, the Ghanaian taxpayer and the Ghanaian public at large…?” he asked when he appeared on Citi TV’s ‘The Point of View’ show monitored by GhanaWeb.

Prof Gyimah-Boadi indicated that, the MPs should not forget that the Ghanaian taxpayer has indulged them to award to themselves “heavily subsidized hundred thousand dollars per head car loan or for their abject failure as legislators to protect the public purse or for their failure to diligently to oversight the executive branch of government and the presidency?”

“is this, all the things that they care about in a Ghana were justifiable is galamsey mining has become bogged down or a legislature that has been totally ineffective in investigating questionable judgement debt and others expensive debts that has arisen from their own laps and possibly connivance in getting us into bad loans in the first place. These limited resources of the legislature; the parliament of Ghana both their time and resources completely baffles me and makes me feel disappointed,” he stressed.

He is of the view that, if ordinary citizens or groups or CSOs (Civil Society Organisations) are the ones championing this anti-LGBTQ+ agenda, it will not be offensive but it is a problem when MPs are the ones championing and pushing such legislation.

“I understand when Ghanaian clergy both Muslim and Christian express opposition to LGBTQ+; I completely get it when maybe some CSOs arises…[but] legislatures have decided that of all the things in the world and in Ghana that they must do to help us and to help live their own obligations, criminalizing LGBTQ+ is what is important to do, that’s what bothers me,” Prof Gyimah-Boadi explained further.

To him, leaders like the Parliamentarians should be leading from the front and not from the back.

Professor Gyimah-Boadi is part of some eighteen renowned legal, academic and civil society professionals who have filled a memorandum challenging the anti-gay legislation submitted to Parliament.

In the memorandum, they contend that the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, which seeks to criminalise LGBTQ+ and adjacent activities, is an “impermissible invasion of the inviolability of human dignity.”

To push the anti-LGBTQ+ will be to challenge Ghana’s constitution and democracy, they also argued in the 18-page document.

The anti-LGBTQ+ bill which is currently before Parliament prescribes that people of the same sex who engage in sexual activity could spend up to 10 years in jail.

Support for the LGBTQ+ community would also be criminalised.


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