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Parliament begins public hearing on LGBTQ+ bill

The constitutional, legal and parliamentary affairs committee of Parliament is expected to begin the first of a series of public hearing on the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021 today November 10.

The public hearing is in line with the directive of the Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin that the various stages for the consideration, debating and voting of the bill will be made public to ensure transparency and inclusiveness.

The business committee of the house has so far received over 150 memoranda on the bill .

The public hearing is expected to last for 15 weeks.

Background

Known as the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, the anti-gay bill was read for the first time in Parliament on 3 August 2021. It has since been referred to the committee on constitutional, legal and parliamentary affairs for consideration and report.

The 36-page private member’s bill aims to provide for proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values by proscribing LGBTQ+ and related activities, as well as propaganda for, advocacy or promotion of LGBTQI+ and related activities.

It will prohibit individuals from providing or participating in any form of surgical services to enable gender reassignment or create a sexual category other than the category a person was assigned at birth, except where the surgical procedure is to correct a biological anomaly, including intersex.

Those who contravene or undermine this provision are liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of no less than GHC9,000 and no more than GHC60,000, or a term of imprisonment of not less than three years and not more than five years, or both.

Moreover, the bill proscribes promotion and advocacy activities directed at children. Thus, anyone who uses the media and other electronic channels to produce, procure, market, broadcast, publish or distribute material or information directly or indirectly directed at a child, with intent to evoke the interest of children in an activity, could face a jail term of not less than six years and not more than ten.

The bill seeks besides to provide accused individuals with access to medical help or treatment, and to prohibit extrajudicial or inhumane treatment of people accused of offences under the bill.

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