Ranking Member on the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament Bernard Ahiafor, has assured the Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin that the committee would not be intimidated by anyone from doing its work in relation to the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, popularly known as the Anti-Gay Bill.
Mr Ahiafo said he is a lawyer and is full of indomitable spirits therefore, he cannot be intimidated by anyone.
He told TV3’s Parliamentary correspondent Komla Kluste in an interview on Wednesday, March 29 that the committee is ready to take the second reading of the Bill if it is programmed by the Business Committee.
He said “I can speak for myself, I am a man with an indomitable spirit and I don’t think I can be intimidated in any manner whatsoever by anybody. I am a lawyer, I will look at the law, look at the constitution and look at what needs to be done.
“That is exactly what I am going to do without any fear or favor and so let me assure the Speaker that the committee is made up mostly of lawyers and they cannot be intimidated,
“What the committee is supposed to do, the Committee has done it, and our report is ready. If the Business Committee programmes it today, we can take the second reading of the anti-LGBTOI Bill today, if it is programmed tomorrow we can take the Bill tomorrow.”
Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin earlier told the Constitutional, not to be intimidated by anyone regarding the Anti-Gay Bill.
He asked the committee to report back to him if they are encountering any challenges.
“Please, committee members that we referred the Bill to, we want the report, don’t be intimidated by any person,” he said during a breakfast meeting with the Parliamentary Christian Fellowship on Tuesday, March 28.
He added “Please let the report flow, we need to legislate. Our friends just passed their law in Uganda, we may not go the way they have gone, our Constitution is very clear as to the direction we should move and so we should be guided by that because if we pass any law against the Constitution, it is unconstitutional.”
His comments come at a time President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo dissociated from the Anti-Gay Bill.
Proposed under a Private Members’ Bill, the anti-gay bill is expected to criminalise some of the activities of homosexuals in Ghana.
Answering a question put to him at the Jubilee House on Monday, March 27 when US Vice President Kamala Harris called on him, President Akufo-Addo confirmed that the bill is currently before Parliament, which will decide on it, but most of its provisions are being fine-tuned.
“It hasn’t been passed, so the statement that there is legislation in Ghana to that effect is not accurate,” he said.
“Parliament is dealing with it and at the end of the process, I will come in,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo welcomed US Vice President Harris to the seat of government as part the latter’s three-day visit to the country.
She stressed how strongly she feels about the importance of supporting and fighting for the cause of human rights including rights of LGBTQs.
“For the American press who are here, you know that a great deal of work in my career has been to address human rights issues, equality issues across the globe including as well as the LGBTQ community and I feel very strongly about the importance of supporting freedom and supporting and fighting for quality among all people.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana