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Anti-LGBTQI+ Bill Not Likely to Endure Rigorous Constitutional Examination – Afenyo-Markin

Alexander Afenyo-Markin, Majority Leader, criticizes the anti-LGBTQ+ bill's constitutionality and effectiveness, advocating for a more nuanced law that respects rights while addressing concerns, amidst parliamentary debate and fear of victimization.

In an interview on Monday with Bernard Avle on Citi TV’s “The Point of View,” Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin, raised some concerns about the legal footing of the contentious “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill”, which is currently under consideration in Parliament.

Described by both local and international humanitarian agencies as an “extreme” legislation that tightens the laws against members of Ghana’s LGBTQ+ community, the bill, according to Afenyo-Markin, harbors critical constitutional vulnerabilities that he believes would not hold up under judicial review, particularly in the Supreme Court.

Afenyo-Markin has previously voiced his apprehensions regarding the bill’s approach, explicitly critiquing its reliance on punitive measures, which he argues fall short of facilitating the intended rehabilitation outcomes for LGBTQ+ individuals.

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His critique extends to the bill’s broader implications, including a potential regression in free speech rights, evoking fears of a resurgence of criminal libel laws previously eliminated from Ghana’s legal framework.

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“The law, in its current state, presents constitutional dilemmas that I foresee will not endure a rigorous constitutional examination,” he said during the interview.

Days ago, he had moved a last-minute motion for a second consideration of the bill to remove prison sentences in the proposed law.

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He highlighted his concern that specific provisions of the bill would likely be struck down if challenged for their constitutionality.

Further, he shed light on the internal pressures within Parliament, indicating a climate of apprehension among lawmakers. He pointed out that the bill’s introduction has led to a situation where legislators might fear backlash or misinterpretation of their stance if they express reservations about the bill. This environment, he suggests, stifles open and critical debate on the bill’s merits and drawbacks.

Despite Parliament’s move earlier in February to endorse jail terms for people promoting or engaging in LGBTQ+ activities, Afenyo-Markin remains steadfast in his belief that punitive measures alone are insufficient for addressing the issue at hand. He has since advocated for a more refined and thoughtful legislative approach that balances the intended objectives of the bill with safeguarding constitutional rights and freedoms.

SourceCiti FM

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