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Going to prison for being gay is wrong – Francis Sosu

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis Xavier Sosu has lamented against the proposed jail sentence for homosexuals in the anti-gay bill.

The Ghana Armed Forces Amendment Bill 2023 is  a private member’s bill sponsored by the Member of Parliament for Madina, Francis Xavier Sosu

He said using community service as a way of a deterrent for people found practicing homosexuality is the way forward.

Speaking in an interview in Accra, the lawmaker said it is wrong to imprison someone because of the sexual orientation.

Responding to concerns that certain aspects of the law should be reviewed for instance, the custodial sentences, the human rights lawyer said, “Well, in all honesty, I don’t believe somebody must go to prison because of their sexual orientation, I don’t believe that.”

He continued, “There are several ways you can punish people like the community sentence, particularly in our country where community sentencing is a little bit like a community shame.”

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He maintained that when people are subjected to community shame in Ghana, it is “a bigger deterrence,” stressing that if culprits are subjected to cleaning public toilets, for example, it would deter others from committing such offenses.

Sosu further underscored that “any form of a misdemeanor, if the laws capture it as a misdemeanor, once it is a misdemeanor, a community sentence would not be a bad idea.”

“In those penalties, it is not only a community sentence, so you have a community sentence, you have a fine and then you have a custodial sentence,” he explained, adding that judges must be allowed to look at a community sentence in all circumstances.

Parliament unanimously passed the Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2024, commonly known as an anti-LGBTQ+ bill, on Wednesday, February 28.

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