The Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has stopped receiving memorandum from the public on the anti-gay bill.
As the committee commences public hearing on Thursday November 11, the Ranking Member on the Committee, Bernard Ahiafor, told TV3’s Parliamentary correspondent Courage Komla Kluste in interview on Wednesday November 1o that “Those who submitted the memo would be invited to appear before the committee with their memo and justify the stand that they have taken. So, as usual, the LGBTQ bill which has been referred to the Constitution, Legal Committee of Parliament has generated a lot of interest as a result of the memoranda received so far.
“It is ranging between 140 and 150 so the committee is scheduled to start the stakeholders’ engagement effective tomorrow.
“I believe strongly, when they advertised the bill welcoming memorandum the time frame was given, that time frame has since long elapsed.
“Having regard to the nature and quality of the bill we relaxed the rule and then we have received memos up to last week.
“So, I believe since the committee is going to start work on the memo effective form tomorrow, from tomorrow I don’t think the clerk of the committee will received any further memo.”
It is recalled that Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Alexander Afenyo- Markin, projected that it would take the parliamentary committee 15 weeks, at least, to hear the 150 memoranda that have so far been presented as part of the move to pass the bill.
The Effutu lawmaker made this calculation having in mind the possibility of Parliament receiving more memoranda apart from the 150 already received.
He explained that each week, the committee has decided to consider 10 of the memoranda. That brings the calculation to fifteen weeks.
His comments come after his colleague Member of Parliament for Banda, Ahmed Ibrahim, had called on the House to carry along the nation as efforts are being made to pass the bill.
Speaking on the floor of the House Friday November 5, he said “On the issue of this LGBTQ , the committee has received about 150 memoranda I am well informed of steps they have taken so far They have met and programmed to hear them weekly and from next week they are starting.
“So if honourable Ibrahim Ahmed wants us to carry the nation along then per my calculation, if they are doing weekly we don’t know whether any more memoranda will come.
“Then it means that we are looking at fifteen weeks. Every week they are doing ten, 150 and they want to do ten a week. So it is important all those who have brought memoranda are heard. It is after that that they will now prepare their report and then come and we make progress.”
The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill was laid in the House on Monday, August 2 and read for the first time.
Reading for the first time, a clerk in the legislative assembly stated that the Bill proscribes lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) and other related activities and propaganda or advocacy and promotion for same.
It also came to light that it supports protection for children and persons who are victims or accused of homosexuality.
Second Deputy Speaker Andrew Asiamah Amoako referred the Bill to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Committee for consideration.
“For the first time, it is referred to the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for consideration and report,” Mr Asiamah Amoako, who is also the MP for Fomena, directed.