Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam Nartey George, has revealed that the Attorney General, Godfred Dame, is obstructing the passage of the anti-LGBTQ+ bill.
According to him, the Attorney General must stop coming in the way of the process of getting the anti-LGBTQ+ Bill passed and allow the committee to proceed with its work. He indicated that the Attorney General should come to the floor if he has any reservations.
With this, Mr George stated that the Bill is still at the committee level in parliament.
“Respectfully I will say the Attorney General is filibustering with the Bill. I will say the Attorney General is a clog in the wheel of parliament and he must take notice that we are taking keen notice of it and we will flex our muscle as parliamentarians very soon with him.”Sam Nartey George
Mr George highlighted that the Attorney General was in the country when parliament called for memos. However, he explained that the AG didn’t present any memo although his staff have been with the committee from day one.
That notwithstanding, the Ningo-Prampram legislator explained that after submitting his memo late, Mr Dame has not availed himself for a discussion with the committee.
“After we finished with the work of all the 176 memos we had and the committee has done the clause-by-clause consideration, it is now the Attorney General is saying he has a memo to bring.”Sam Nartey George
Deliberations of anti-LGBTQI Bill in parliament
Mr George stated that the committee is hoping the Attorney General will be available on Tuesday, 21st February 2023, for them to deliberate on his memo which he believes will take about 30 minutes since the issues he’s raised in the memo has already been considered at the clause-by-clause discussions.
“We are looking to see if Tuesday he will be available. We will address his memo because his memo is something that we will dispatch in just 30 minutes because the substance of his memo has already been dealt with at the Clause-by-Clause Consideration, so that we can go to the floor. He is the Attorney General so he will be given the opportunity to come and debate on the floor.”Sam Nartey George
Earlier this year, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, expressed the government’s commitment to protecting the human rights of all minority groups including the LGBTQ+ community.
His comments followed concerns raised by the United Kingdom and other countries on the Bill for the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values currently before Parliament at the United Nation Human Rights record review in Geneva, Switzerland
Godfred Dame in his response to the concerns raised, assured that the government will ensure that the rights of all persons including minority groups are not violated. He emphasized that the State prohibits all state of violence and brutality targeted at any group of persons in Ghana including all minority groups.
In light of this, he noted that all types of violence when reported are effectively investigated and the perpetrators prosecuted by the courts.
Ghana’s Parliament has witnessed overtime, the debating of an anti-LGBTQI+ bill which seeks to criminalise activities of persons who hold out as lesbian, gay, transgender, transsexual or queer, persons who hold divergent socio-cultural notions of sex, persons with a biological anomaly regarding their gender at birth, persons involved in the promotion of or advocacy and funding for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer related activities, as well as persons who conduct surgical procedures to reassign an individual’s gender except for medical purposes.
Mr George, being the lead Sponsor of the Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, has in the past, refuted claims that the Bill intends to criminalize intersex persons. He explained that the Common Law, as it exists, is only able to criminalise homosexuality commonly referred to as gayism but not expansive enough to deal with the issues of LGBTQ.