Afenyo-Markin defeated by voice vote, withdraws proposed amendments to LGBTQ+ Bill


Mr Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, the New Patriotic Party, Member of Parliament for Effufu, Wednesday withdrew his proposed amendments to the “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021”.

The withdrawal was a result of the House through a voice vote voted against two of the Member of Parliament’s (MP) proposals which appealed for a replacement of imprisonment with community service for persons found culpable of LGBTQ+ activities.

Mr Afenyo-Markin, also the Deputy Majority Leader, per Orders 170 and 171 of the House’s Standing Order, called for amendments to Clauses 6 to 16 of the Bill.

The object of the “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021” is to provide for proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian Family Values proscribe lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) and related activities.

He also withdrew a new amendment where he called for mandatory counselling for offenders to undergo a counselling programme focusing on proper human sexual rights and Ghanaian family values as a post-conviction sentence.

“Mr Speaekr, I have been defeated by a voice vote…I am withdrawing the amendments as a result of respect for the chair and the chair’s directive that they are not supposed to be part of the bill,” Mr Afenyo-Markin said.

In his argument, he told Parliament that punitive measures would not contribute to the rehabilitation of the offenders.

Further, he conveyed concern about the state of the country’s prisons and their inability to provide the necessary rehabilitation for offenders.

The MP for Effutu, therefore, proposed the replacement of a minimum two-month imprisonment sentence with a minimum one month of community service for individuals found guilty of LGBTQ+ activities.

Mr Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, explained that the Clauses were being withdrawn because the proposed amendments did not align with the Bill.

Parliament on Thursday, February 16, 2024, began the Second Consideration Stage of the “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021”, following a Motion filed by Mr Afenyo-Markin.

The Bill had already gone through the First Consideration and was about to be taken through the Third reading when Mr Afenyo-Markin moved his Motion.

Standing on Order 171 of the House, Mr Afenyo-Markin in his substantive Motion, appealed to the Speaker for the Bill to be taken through the Second Consideration.

Order 171(1) of the new Standing Orders of the House states that, “Where a member objects to delete, amend to introduce a provision in the Bill, which has passed through the Consideration Stage, the Member may immediately before the Sponsor rise to move the Motion for the Third Reading of the Bill, move that the Bill a Second Consideration Stage either wholly or in respect of a particular part or part of the Bill or some proposed new clauses or new schedules.

“(2) Notice of this motion is not required and if the Motion is agreed to the Bill shall immediately pass the Second Consideration Stage.

“(3) Where the whole Bill has been ordered to pass through a Second Consideration, the House shall move through the Bill in a manner provided for on Order 170.”

Mr Afenyo-Markin in his submission noted that the essence of his Motion was to allow the August House to thoroughly consider the amendments that he had proposed to the Bill with the view of substituting community service for incarceration.

Source: GNA

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