Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, found himself noticeably absent during the pivotal consideration stage of the “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values 2021,” commonly known as the anti-gay bill.
Despite his earlier presence in the House on Friday, December 8, 2023, Anyimadu-Antwi’s absence at this crucial juncture prompted the Ranking Member, Bernard Ahiafor, to step in and guide the House through the bill’s amendment stage.
Initially slated for consideration on Wednesday, the bill encountered obstacles when concerns were raised by the First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei-Owusu, and the Majority leadership regarding the absence of the Committee Chairman.
This setback led to frustration among the bill’s sponsors, who accused the Majority leadership of impeding its progress.
Lead sponsor Samuel Nartey George, MP for Ningo Prampram, went as far as threatening to expose NPP MPs allegedly influenced by LGBTQ+ advocates in the country.
Despite these prior hindrances, Speaker Alban S.K. Bagbin assured the House on Thursday that the bill would be enacted before the festive season recess.
However, when the consideration stage was announced on Friday, the Committee Chairman was conspicuously absent, raising eyebrows given the previous listing in the Order of Paper.
Speaker Alban Bagbin maintained that the House could proceed with the bill’s consideration despite the Committee Chairman’s absence, and indeed, it did.
The session addressed Clause 1, involving five of the 17 proposed amendments.
As outlined in the accompanying memorandum, the bill’s objective is to establish proper human sexual rights and uphold Ghanaian family values.
It seeks to prohibit LGBTQ+ and related activities, as well as the promotion or advocacy for such matters.
Additionally, the bill aims to ensure the protection and support of individuals, particularly children, associated with LGBTQ+ matters.
As the anti-gay bill progresses, the absence of the Committee Chairman during this critical phase adds a layer of intrigue to the legislative proceedings.