Parliamentarians need to be allowed to debate freely to arrive at the best decision on the anti-LGBTQI bill – Tony Forson

Parliamentarians need to be allowed to debate freely to arrive at the best decision on the anti-LGBTQI bill – Tony Forson

Mr Tony Forson, President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has indicated that the association will have no option but to live with it if the anti-gay bill currently before Parliament is passed.

He further indicated that lawmakers should be allowed to argue out their stance forcefully for or against the bill on the floor in order to arrive at a good decision that is in the collective interest of the public.

Portions of the bill read, “a person who, by use of media, technological platform, technological account or any other means, produces, procures, markets, broadcasts, disseminates, publishes or distributes a material for purposes of promoting an activity prohibited under the Bill, or a person uses an electronic device, the Internet service, a film, or any other device capable of electronic storage or transmission to produce, procure, market, broadcast, disseminate, publishes or distribute a material for purposes of promoting an activity prohibited under the Bill commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than ten years.”

Mr Forson said “Parliament is our collective wisdom so I believe that every constituency, that is every grouping, has its representatives in Parliament and whatever, as then-president said, if it is critical mass which is against it or for it, I believe that the representatives in parliament must be given the necessary ammunition to be able to argue so that our collective consciousness as a country will be manifest in the decision of Parliament.

“So, it is before Parliament, they are our elected representatives and whatever they come out with I think we have to live with it.”

Asked whether he has problems with the bill, he said “I will be honest with you I have not seen all of it, I just got it yesterday so I have read about 12 pages of the bill, whether I have problems with it or not we will make it known to my MP at the end of the reading and when I sample peoples”

When he was asked again whether or not homosexuality should be criminalized he answered “I am not going to answer that question.”

Meanwhile, former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has said the activities of homosexuals are already illegal in Ghana. He said the bill will only lead to Ghana being blacklisted for promoting hate.

“Gay+ activities are already illegal in our country. But, we aren’t known to hate. The President has given his word he won’t legalize it.

“This Bill only serves one purpose: to get Ghana blacklisted for promoting hate! Surely, the promoters of the Bill can’t say they aren’t aware,” the leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) said in a tweet.

Ningo Prampram lawmaker Samuel Nartey George and some other lawmakers are sponsoring the anti-LGBT+ Bill in Parliament. Sam George is receiving flak from some quarters for sponsoring the anti-LGBT+ agenda.

For instance, Ghanaian musician Sister Derby who is also a known advocate of LGBT+ rights in Ghana tweeted, “obsessed with people’s sexual orientation” and tagged him as a pervert and backward thinker.”

But he has said he is opened to intellectual debate on the anti-LGBT+ Bill he and some of his colleague lawmakers are sponsoring.

By: Stella Annan | myactiveonline.com Twitter @activetvgh

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