As the debate surrounding the controversial anti-LGBTQ bill wears on, the founder of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Otchere-Darko, has taken a dig at NDC’s Sam George, one of the sponsors of the draft.
The Ningo Prampram Member of Parliament has been at the forefront of rallying support for the bill, which seeks to criminalise the activities of LGBTQ+ persons.
If the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill is passed, persons who engage in the said practice could face up to five years imprisonment.
Some advocates could also face up to 10-year-jail time depending on the crime.
Portions of the bill proposed that “a person who, by use of media, technological platform, technological account or any other means, produces, procures, markets, broadcasts, disseminates, publishes or distributes a material for purposes of promoting an activity prohibited under the Bill, or a person uses an electronic device, the Internet service, a film, or any other device capable of electronic storage or transmission to produce, procure, market, broadcast, disseminate, publishes or distribute a material for purposes of promoting an activity prohibited under the Bill commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than ten years.”
Proponents say they have the overwhelming support of Ghanaians, one of the reasons why they are pushing that it be passed expeditiously.
However, the legislation faces stiff opposition as the Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs receives over 120 memos geared towards shaping the bill.
While these memoranda trickle in ahead of Parliament’s resumption, Gabby Otchere-Darko, who has in the past, expressed his resentment for the private members’ bill, has shared his thoughts regarding the numbers argument.
In a tweet on Saturday, the NPP firebrand said, “if politics is all about populism & popularity, then I have fantastic news for the NDC: they have found their next presidential candidate & he is the MP for Ningo Prampram Sam George.”
“Young, articulate, driven, bold, & extremely popular. The main sponsor of the anti-LBGTQI Bill,” he added.
Sam George had been on a media spree courting support for the bill garnering international attention amid mixed reactions locally.
However sarcastic as it seemed, Sam George did not take the assertion lightly.
According to the MP, he has no interest in running for flagbearership role of his party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), adding that “…I completely focused on delivering my mandate to the people of Ningo-Prampram.”
“I wholeheartedly endorse the return of @JDMahama [John Mahama] to rescue our Country from the abysmal presidency of your cousin @NAkufoAddo [Nana Akufo-Addo],” he responded in reply to Mr Otchere-Darko’s Twitter post.
The draft document also seeks to criminalise organisations that advocate or promote the activity in the country.
Meanwhile, top clergy members and Islamic clerics have presented memos to the House’s Committee of Constitution and Legal Affairs in support of the bill.
The Church of Pentecost has declared its readiness to vote out any political party that stands against the bill’s passage.
However, a series of memoranda, which oppose the legislation, have also been presented to the Committee.
The sponsors of the memoranda describe the bill as an endorsement of state-sponsored violence against minority groups and an infringement on their human rights.
“So far, our problem is the implications of how you want to deal with something we disagree with. The Churches disagree with homosexual behaviour; the mosque disagrees with homosexuals that’s fine; individuals in Ghana disagree with homosexual behaviour, that’s fine; it’s their prerogative to disagree with them, but how do we even deal with it?” Dean at the University of Ghana’s School of Communications said on Newsfile.
In an interview on JoyNews’ The Probe, Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Kwame Anyimadu Antwi, indicated that over 124 memoranda had been submitted to them for appropriate action to be taken.