Majority Leader of the house Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu has told the Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin that he[Bagbin] cannot make a decision on behalf of the whole legislative house concerning the anti-gay bill that is currently before it.
According to the legislator for Suame who made this clear in a press briefing today, October 12, 2021, as it stands the Speaker of Parliament is not a legislator, thus, not wielding the required authority to make decisions on this matter.
For the Suame legislator the best, the Speaker can do, is to make a referral to Parliament which will be programmed by the Business Committee for consideration.
The Speaker had also initially stated that he is pro-life therefore parliament will pass the bill as soon as possible.
He went on to make his point clear in an earlier engagement saying “Ghanaians have spoken with one voice. I sit here as Speaker of Ghana, I represent Ghanaians and the country Ghana. We have spoken with one voice that we don’t want anything to do with whatever things they add”.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu explained things further to the press saying “If I heard right, the Speaker was even saying that the bill is going to be passed but I have a little bit of challenge with that. Technically the speaker is not even a Member of Parliament, the speaker cannot commit Parliament.
“The Speaker can make a referral to Parliament which will be programmed by the business committee for consideration. I will find it difficult if we have a speaker who will in spite of his own antecedent as a former Member of Parliament to say that Parliament is going to pass the bill. It is a bit of a difficulty.”
The legislator however clarified that “I am not saying that Parliament is not going to pass the bill but the speaker should not make a predetermination for the house because he is not a Member of Parliament and this is the business of Parliament.”
He further stated that in principle, no lawmaker is against the anti-gay bill which is currently before Parliament.
“In principle, I am not sure any Member of Parliament will be against the principle of this bill. I am an African, I am a Ghanaian, an Ashanti, Kwabre man and I have my own values.
“I have my own upbringing, one that is shaped by my tradition and upbringing. As I have said along the line, I am Christian, I was born into the Assemblies of God Church so my faith also impacts my upbringing. But that is not the only thing that shapes my upbringing,
“That is why I am saying, and I refer to the first provision in Chapter 11 of the Constitution which is Article 125 when it says that justice emanates from the people.
“We have our concept of what is right and what is wrong, I don’t know of any ethnic group of this country that will applaud this.”
The controversial anti-gay bill which is currently before Parliament has already divided opinion in the Ghanaian public discourse.
While some, particularly the religious and traditional groupings, have supported the Bill with all their might and are hopeful of its passing, others are worried it could incur the wrath of the international community against Ghana.