LGBTQ+ Bill: Second Consideration concluded, Third Reading on February 27 

By Elsie Appiah-Osei, GNA 

Accra, Feb 23, GNA – The Second Consideration Stage of the ‘Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021’ was concluded by Parliament on Friday.  

The House, by a consensus, scheduled the Third Reading (Passage of the Bill) for Tuesday, February 27.  

This was a result of the House’s revised Standing Orders, which required an opening of at least one Sitting day to allow for the Third Reading of Bills. 

Parliament on Thursday, February 16, began the Second Consideration Stage of the Bill, following a Motion filed by Mr Afenyo-Markin, the Majority Leader. 

The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021’  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, Mr Alban Bagbin, for the Bill to be taken through the Second Consideration. 

Mr Afenyo-Markin, MP for Effutu, 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. 

However, during the proposed Clause by-Clause Amendments of the Bill on Wednesday, February 21, Mr Afyenyo-Markin withdrew his proposed amendments. 

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

He called for amendments of Clauses six to 16 of the Bill per Orders 170 and 171 of the House’s Standing Order. 

He also withdrew a new amendment where he called for mandatory counselling of offenders 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,” he said. 

Mr Afenyo-Markin told Parliament that punitive measures would not contribute to the rehabilitation of the offenders. 

Further, he conveyed his concerns 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. 

Speaker Bagbin, however, explained that the Clauses were being withdrawn because the proposed amendments did not align with 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, proscribing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ+) and related activities.