The Promotion of Proper Human Rights and Family Values Bill is not the only bill being delayed due to external influences in parliament, Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs Committee of Parliament, Hon Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi has said.
The Chairman comment follows claims by the bill’s lead sponsor, Samuel Nartey George, that sought suggest that the delay on the consideration of the Bill was being influences by some Majority MPs at the behest of the pro-LGBTQ+ community.
Addressing members of the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC) on Thursday, December 7, 2023 in Parliament, Mr. Anyimadu-Antwi dismissed the Minority MPs and sponsors of the Bill allegations and said the delay was as a result of conflicting legislative priorities rather than external pressures.
He explained that the delay was not exclusive to this bill, citing examples such as the Interstate Succession Bill and the Chattered Institute of Restructuring and Insolvency Practitioners Ghana Bill 2023.
“This is not the only bill that has been with parliament at the consideration stage for months. We have other bills, and other sides are also complaining that we don’t have the numbers,” stated Mr. Anyimadu-Antwi, who also serves as the Asante Akim Central MP.
The Chairman said legislative hurdles are common and not cause for alarm, emphasizing that the parliamentary schedule often prioritizes pressing matters like the budget, impacting the timeline for other bills.
He explained, “When the budget is read, they give preference to the budget issues; otherwise, we cannot do appropriation and the amendment that we have.”
While acknowledging the importance of the Promotion of Proper Human Rights and Family Values Bill, he assured that the delay was due to procedural issues that needed addressing within the committee.
“The main reason why the Proper Human Rights and Family Values Bill cannot be prosecuted now is that there is an issue that has been raised. We need to sit again as a committee and iron out those before we can do the appropriation,” he added.
Tensions flared in Parliament on Wednesday when sponsors of the Bill expressed outrage over the unexpected delay in the consideration of the controversial legislation.
The dismayed sponsors warned individuals allegedly influenced by LGBTQ interests to return any benefits received, as they are prepared for an all-out fight to push the Bill forward.
A visibly angry Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram and main sponsor of the Bill, Sam George, spoke on behalf of the sponsors after the House adjourned and indicated this is the third time the House has failed to take the consideration stage.
He questioned the excuses given for the delay, especially regarding the absence of the Committee Chairman, calling it alien to parliamentary practice.
He issued a stern warning to those allegedly influenced by LGBTQ lobbyists, stating, “Those who have gone and got influenced by persons who have an interest in the LGBTQ should return whatever influence they have collected because we will fight.”
He called on the Christian community, the Muslim community, followers of the African traditional religions, the National House of Chiefs, and all Ghanaians who have endorsed this bill, to take note of the actions of certain individuals in the Parliament who are obstructing and intentionally slowing down the progress of the bill.