The Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has opposed the idea of a custodial sentence for individuals found guilty of engaging in LGBTQ+ activities. On Thursday, February 8th, Parliament approved a jail term of three to five years for those who intentionally promote or sponsor LGBTQ activities. On the other hand, those caught in the act will be sentenced to a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 3 years.
During a clause-by-clause amendment of the bill on the promotion of proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values, Mr. Afenyo-Markin stated that the punitive action would not aid in the rehabilitation of the culprit. The Effutu lawmaker lamented the state of the country’s prisons and argued that they would not provide the rehabilitation needed for offenders of the act.
“It is my contention that given the state of our prisons, a custodial sentence will not lead to the rehabilitation of the offender if he is convicted; it cannot be an option. If indeed we are promoting Ghanaian family values, then our Ghanaian family values will not entail the consequence of those who breach them being destroyed in society.”
On his part, the lead proponent of the anti-gay bill, Sam Nartey George, also explained that “what created the confusion was the establishment of advocacy for the promotion of the activities; that is what Ghanaians are against. Nobody is interested in what you do in your bedroom. And so, the punishment for one caught in the act, is to be a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 3 years.”
“However, for anyone engaging in wilful promotion, sponsorship, or support of the agenda, the punitive measure for that is a minimum of 3 years, maximum of 5 years.”