Ghanaian Speaker vows to pass Anti-Gay Bill: slams US VP Kamala Harris’ criticism as ‘undemocratic’

Speaker of Ghanaian parliament Alban Bagbin; Courtesy photo

The Speaker of Ghanaian parliament, Alban Bagbin, on Tuesday urged country’s legislators not to be intimidated by US Vice-President Kamala Harris’ remarks denouncing efforts by parliament to enact of an Anti-Gay Bill, describing her statements as “undemocratic”.

Ghanaian lawmakers are currently discussing the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Value Bill – which criminalizes advocacy for gay rights and proposes longer jail terms for those that identify as LGBTQ.

Ms Harris who was on a state visit in Ghana over the weekend did not directly addressed the bill but warned that US’ cannot compromise on issues concerning gay rights.

During a joint briefing with President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday, Kamala said; “This is an issue that we consider to be a human rights issue and that will not change.”

Harris pledged a new era of partnership between the U.S. and Africa, touting women’s empowerment, developing the digital economy and supporting democracy in Ghana. She also said she had raised human rights issues in her bilateral discussions with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Speaker Alban Bagbin told lawmakers that the bill under development adheres to the constitution and will pass. She also warned President Akufo-Addo against meddling.

“What is democracy? That someone should have to dictate to me what is good and what is bad? Unheard of, because we have decided to devalue ourselves and go begging?” Alban Bagbin said.

“This is a word to the president – there is no way he can intervene. Wait until we pass it, that is where you come in,” he told lawmakers amid cheers and claps.

The speaker urged lawmakers not to be “intimidated by any person”.

Gay sex is already punishable with up to three years in jail in Ghana but the draft law proposes longer sentences.



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