Visiting US Vice-President Kamala Harris’s comments on LGBTQ has ruffled feathers within Ghana’s legislature, with the Speaker describing it as “undemocratic”.
Ghanaian lawmakers are currently discussing the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Value Bill – which criminalises advocacy for gay rights.
It also proposes jail terms for those that identify as LGBTQ. Harris had not directly addressed the bill during a joint briefing with President Nana Akufo-Addo but said “This is an issue that we consider to be a human rights issue and that will not change.”
Ghana’s speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has now urged the MPs not to be “intimidated by any person”.
“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?” he said.
Meddling in national matters
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He warned President Akufo Addo against meddling, adding that bill will be passed in-accordance with constitutional provisions.
“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.
Same sex is already punishable with up to three years in jail in Ghana. Homophobic attitudes are widespread, but the draft law would impose longer sentences.
Meanwhile Zambia’s government has warned the opposition against holding anti-gay rights protests during US Vice-President Kamala Harris’s visit in the country.
Resisting same sex agenda
Opposition Patriotic Front (PF) party plans to hold protests ahead of the summit that is being hosted in the capital, Lusaka.
Ms Harris will arrive in the southern Africa country on Friday and is scheduled to make an address at the summit – which is jointly being hosted by Zambia, the US, Costa Rica, Netherlands and South Korea.
Some 50 opposition MPs have claimed, without evidence, that the event was part of an agenda to impose gay rights on Zambians.
Amnesty International Zambia has called on the government to take a strong stand in support of LGBTQ rights and to ensure that the summit is not disrupted by protests.
Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu has said that the authorities would not allow lawlessness during the summit.