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Deputy Majority Leader Blocks Approval of Anti-LGBTQ Bill

On the floor of parliament, Markin indicated that he is not averse to the principles of the bill. However, he argued, that community service is the best alternative to custodial sentences and that it would also be a show of compassion in the judicial system of Ghana.

Days ago, a Member of Parliament for Ajumako Enyan Esiam Constituency and Minority Leader in parliament, Cassiel Ato Forson, suggested that Ghana would have an Anti-LGBTQ Bill awaiting the President’s Assent by the weekend.

“We finished the consideration, we have it printed, and we are looking through it to make sure that all the amendments as moved and approved by parliament are captured appropriately,” he said on Joy News. “And Thursday we expect the Speaker to put the question and by the weekend, Ghana should have a bill called the Anti-LGBTQ Bill. No doubt about it.”

However, the Deputy Majority leader, Alexander Afenyo Markin, impeded the approval of the Anti-LGBTQ Bill on Thursday. He moved a last-minute motion for a second consideration of the bill to remove prison sentences in the proposed law.

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On the floor of parliament, Markin indicated that he is not averse to the principles of the bill. However, he argued, that community service is the best alternative to custodial sentences and that it would also be a show of compassion in the judicial system of Ghana.

“Mr Speaker, the essence of this motion is to afford this august House the opportunity to thoroughly consider the amendments that I have proposed to the bill, in the view of substituting community service for incarceration. The issue before us is behavioural, and it is my humble view that in dealing with behavioural matters, incarceration is not the solution. It makes the matter worse,” he said in support of his motion.

“The integration of community service as an alternative to incarceration would substantially bolster the efficacy and compassion of our judicial system,” Afenyo Markin added.

Afenyo Markin proposed 14 amendments to the Anti-LGBTQ Bill to remove all custodial sentences from the bill. The motion was seconded and the amendments were put to vote. Clause 4 which deals with imposing up to four months custodial sentence on issues concerning LGBTQ was first discussed and defeated.

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Meanwhile, Samuel Nartey George, MP for Ningo Prampram, also a sponsor of the bill, believes that the other 13 amendments would be defeated just like the first amendment and that the bill will soon be passed.

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