No NPP MP wants LGBTQI+ legalised - Sheila Bartels

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma North in the Greater Accra Region, Penelope Sheila Bartels-Sam has rubbished claims that the majority Members of Parliament are not in support of the controversial anti-LGBTQI+bill, hence their silence.

Sheila Bartels, MP

According to her, although the New Patriotic Party MPs support the protection of the country’s values through legislation, they believe it should not lead to sacrificing rights and freedoms.

“I have not come across ONE NPP MP who wants LGBTQI+ legalised. I have heard some MPs suggest that the draft bill in its state can potentially trample on some fundamental human rights as enshrined in the constitution.

“All I know is that we want to ensure that in the process of expanding the law to cover LGBTQI+, we create airtight legislation that can stand the test of time. This takes lots of discussions, dialogue, research, and effort. Not a one-day matter, but we are committed to protecting our basic values as a country,” Penelope Sheila Bartels-Sam wrote on her Facebook page.

Her Facebook post is in alignment with the position of the NPP MP for Nsawam Adoagyir and the Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh who described the Bill as defective in its current form.

“We need to fine-tune it to ensure that it maximizes the protection of rights and freedoms in consonance with democratic principles as we have practised uninterrupted for over 3 decades.

“It’s unfortunate the LGBTQ+ bill is being politicized. As the majority caucus in Parliament, we agree in principle that legislation that protects Ghanaian values in all areas of life must be supported. However, the bill, as it is now, is defective,” said Annoh-Dompreh.

The debate about whether to legalise or outlaw LGBTQ+ activities in Ghana has intensified last week and dominated news headlines following the submission of over 120 memoranda from across the world to Parliament’s Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee.

While some human rights advocacy organisations and groups of like-minded advocates, as well as the United Nations human rights experts, have kicked against the Bill, most Ghanaians have declared their support for it.

Both Christians and Muslims, through their leaderships, have vowed to vote out any government that fails to support the LGBTQ+ Bill, saying there is no room for neutrality.

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