Be Careful With Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill – CHRAJ

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The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has said it is needless to bring The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights also known as LGBTQ+ bill and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 before parliament.

According to them, the concerns of the sponsors of the anti-LGBTQ+ bill have already been addressed in Article 104 of the constitution which criminalizes the act.

Therefore, the sponsors could only call for an amendment rather than proposing a new bill.

“The commission takes the view that section 104 has already criminalised the act, that is the position [of the law] so why then add provisions that will now bring other persons or people when they are to do [or] associate one way on the other just like it happened in Ho [Volta Region] into it, why.”

Appearing before the Parliamentary Committee to engage in a public hearing on the anti-LGBTQI bill on Monday November 29, 2021 the Commissioner of CHRAJ, Joseph Whittal said we need to be careful as we consider the bill.

“I think section 104 is sufficient and if it is not sufficient, we can make an amendment of that position sufficient to deter people along those lines and not to open up so that anyone of us, like me [Whittal] as a member of the commission or commissioner of CHRAJ with a mandate to promote human rights, if I decide to speak on behalf of minority and the vulnerable, then I’m opening myself to a possible criminal prosecution, why will I be. We need to be careful as we consider the bill,” he said.

The Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament today, continued a series of public hearings on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, also known as the LGBTQ+ bill.

This comes after the suspension of the first hearing on Thursday, November 11, 2021, due to time constraints.

The Chairman of the Committee, Kwame Anyimadu, said eight persons or organizations will appear before the Committee today, Monday, November 29, 2021.

Background LGBTQ+ bill

A team of 8 MPs led by Samuel Nartey George have jointly submitted a private bill to push for the criminalization of LGBTQI+ activities in the country.

The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 was laid in the House on Monday, August 2 and read for the first time.

Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Asiamah Amoako, subsequently referred the Bill to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Committee for consideration.

He urged the public to submit memoranda on the bill.

It is based on this a group of 18 renowned lawyers, academicians and other professionals sent a memorandum to parliament for the bill to be thrashed, stating that it violates the fundamental human right guaranteed in the constitution.

Ghanaians have, however, bashed them for their position against the bill but they have clarified that their call for the bill to be thrashed is based on the fact that it violates all the fundamental human rights in the constitution and not that they are in support of gayism and lesbianism.

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