They’ve blacklisted me over anti-gay bill; I can’t even change a dollar outside Ghana – Sam George
Lead campaigner for the passage of the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, Samuel Nartey George, says his advocacy has come at a huge cost to him even before the bill is passed into law or otherwise.
The Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram is sponsoring the Private Members’ Bill with seven other MPs.
Speaking on Eko Sii Sen on Asempa FM on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, the vociferous legislator who has been re-elected to represent the opposition National Democratic Congress in the 2024 election in his constituency, claimed that he has been unfairly put on a money laundering list because of his advocacy.
According to him, the situation has made it difficult for him to engage in financial transactions whenever he travels outside the country.
Even though he was given a reason for the blacklisting, the MP considers it as merely a cover-up, insisting that the blacklisting and some other experiences he’s gone through in some countries are clearly as a result of his anti-LGBTQ campaign.
“I went to do a programme in LSE [London School of Economics] for example. I needed a student account. The University gave me a letter, but the bank refused to open an account for me. As we speak, I can’t change one dollar anywhere in the world. They’ve put me on a money laundering list. They claim I am laundering money for evangelical conservatives in the US.
“I can’t change money anywhere, I have done some travels in the UK and Dubai. You know over there, when you want to exchange the money they’ll swipe your passport, so once they do that the countenance of the cashier changes when my name appears, then they hand the passport back to you and say we can’t change the money for you, sorry.
When the host, Philip Osei Bonsu [A.k.a OB] asked him how he carries out financial transactions when he travels out of the country, the MP said, “You have to find the currency of the country you are travelling to, or you have to find a Ghanaian and beg him or her to change the money for you or you use your bank card. I can’t travel with money” the MP reiterated.
The MP also spoke about how he’s been unfairly handled when he travels outside despite being a diplomatic passport holder since the LGBTQ advocacy started.
“Even when I travel with my diplomatic passport, you get pulled out of the line, you think that maybe they want to give you a special service because you’re carrying a diplomatic passport, they put you in a room for two hours; they just leave you sitting there and embarrass you…because you’ve gotten off a plane with Ghanaians and people see security people come and surround you and walk you into a room, search your bags and all of that just to harass you” he claimed.
Sam George, who spoke painfully about the sacrifices, losses and experiences he and his colleagues have endured for pursuing the bill, said “I will write a book after, and I will chronicle everything especially when we are done. And it’s not just me. I can make reference to some because they are already published. Suhuyini [NDC MP for Tamale North] was rejected for a visa to Holland and the reason for rejection was that he lacked social ties to Ghana.
“A sitting Member of Parliament lacks social ties? On that particular matter, I had to tweet at the Dutch Ambassador and tell him that I was also going to make a list of all Dutch businesses in Ghana and call for a boycott of all Dutch businesses. Then he came back and made for me what was the silliest excuse ever. That it was an administrative error.
“Then I sent back a tweet to him and said that even shows how poor he is at being an ambassador. If an application of a diplomatic passport holder coming from the office of the Speaker of Parliament for an official trip can be subject to an administrative error, what is happening to several other ordinary Ghanaians who are paying so much and you’re rejecting their visas? Are we to assume that there’s so much administrative error there? The next day they granted him [Alhassan Suhuyini] the visa” the MP narrated.
Despite these issues, the MP says he’s not perturbed in seeing the bill passed into law.
“They don’t know me well. Those things give me hunger to pass this bill. It is those things that spur me on because the more you try to break me, the harder I will come at you. Like we say in our faith, I have put my hands to the plough, there’s no turning back. I have crossed the rubicon, I have bent that bridge, I can’t go back”, he stated emphatically.
About the Bill
The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2021, will see culprits face a jail term of up to ten years depending on the crime, if passed in its current state.
Portions of the Bill state that individuals of the same sex who engage in sexual intercourse are; “liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than seven hundred and fifty penalty units and not more than five thousand penalty units, or to a term of imprisonment of not less than three years and not more than five years or both.”
The Bill further suggests that persons who engage in activities that “promote, support, express sympathy for or call for a change of public opinion towards an act prohibited under the Bill,” are liable on summary conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than five years or not more than ten years.
The other Members of Parliament sponsoring the bill alongside Sam George, are Emmanuel Bedzrah (MP, Ho West) Della Adjoa Sowah (MP, Kpando), John Ntim Fordjour (MP, Assin South), Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini (MP, Tamale North), Helen Adjoa Ntoso (MP, Krachi West), Rita Naa Odoley Sowah (MP, La Dadekotopon) and Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor (MP, South Dayi).
Sam George, in defense of the bill, has stated repeatedly that homosexuality is not a fundamental human right but a human preference which is in breach of the 1992 Constitution.