Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, who has been on the radar was conspicuously absent on Friday, December 8, 2023, during the consideration stage of the “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values 2021” popularly known as the anti-gay bill.
His absence has fueled suspicions about possible complicity with opponents of the bill especially because the Chairman of the Constitutional Legal and Parliamen¬tary Affairs Committee, Kwame was earlier present in the Chamber.
This promoted the Ranking Member, Bernard Ahiafor, to take charge and lead the House in taking the bill through its amendment stage.
Mr Ahiafor had earlier joined one of the sponsors of the bill, Sam George, MP for Ningo Prampram in a ‘protest’ press conference against the decision of the sit in Speaker to defer the laying of the bill because of the Chairman’s absence.
The bill, which was initially scheduled for consideration on Wednesday, faced a setback when the First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei-Owusu and the Majority leadership raised concerns about proceeding without the Committee Chairman. This decision led to frustration among the sponsors of the bill, who accused the Majority leadership of hindering its progress.
This compelled Samuel Nartey George, MP for Ningo Prampram, to raise suspicion, amidst threats to expose the NPP MPs allegedly influenced by LGBTQ+ advocates.
The development also triggered attacks on the Speaker of Parliament, Alban S.K. Bagbin who had vowed to supervise the passage for what, critics described as surprise feet dragging, amidst questions about his absence when he places much emphasis on his wish.
However, the Speaker re-assured the House on Thursday that the bill will be enacted before the Christmas recess.
On Friday, despite the Committee Chairman’s conspicuous absence, the Speaker announced the consideration stage, raising eyebrows given the prior advertising in the Order of Paper.
Speaker Bagbin maintained that the House could proceed with the bill’s consideration despite the Committee Chairman’s absence, and indeed, it did. The bill contains 17 proposed amendments, and the House addressed Clause 1, encompassing five amendments during the session.
The object of the Bill as contained in the memorandum accompanying the Bill, is to provide for proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values; proscribe LGBTQ+ and related activities; proscribe propaganda of, advocacy for or promotion of LGBTTQQIAAP+ and related activities; provide for the protection of and ensure the protection and support of individuals, especially children, associated with LGBTQ+ matters.