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Afenyo-Markin withdraws proposed amendments to anti-LGBTQI bill

The Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Alexander Afenyo-Markin has withdrawn his proposed amendments to the anti-gay bill.

Afenyo-Markin

This comes after the House voted against two of the proposals which demanded a replacement of imprisonment with community service for persons found culpable of LGBTQI activities.

Alexander Afenyo-Markin also withdrew his new amendment which was seeking mandatory counselling on human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values as a post-conviction sentence.

The anti-gay bill has been controversial since it was first introduced in Parliament. Human rights groups have said that the bill would violate the rights of LGBT people in Ghana

On Thursday, February 8, Parliament approved a three-to-five-year jail term for individuals who intentionally promoted or sponsored LGBTQ+ activities.

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Those caught in the act could face a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 3 years in prison.

Relatedly, the Minority in Parliament has served notice that it would no longer countenance any action from the Majority to delay the passage of the bill.

Minority Chief Whip Governs Agbodza urged Afenyo-Markin to complete any necessary consultations regarding his proposed amendments before Wednesday. He warned that the Minority will not tolerate any actions perceived as delaying the process beyond that date.

“We should also be clear in our minds that we will not unduly always find a reason to postpone the progress of this bill to another day. Because, as we said the other day, everything that he [Afenyo-Markin] has raised in his proposal, he took about an hour here speaking about it, but he keeps giving reasons why we cannot deal with it. So we are giving him ample time to do the consultation because there will be no more filibustering after Wednesday.”

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The House was therefore compelled to continue with the amendment of about thirteen of the clauses in the bill today [Wednesday, February 21].

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