Parliament has today, Thursday February 8, 2024 brought the consideration stage of the Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill to an end.
The controversial private members’ bill seeking to proscribe activities of the LGBTQI+ community has been in Parliament for more than 3 years now.
The consideration stage which takes care of amendments to the various clauses in the bill started before the house went on break last December.
Addressing the house after bringing the consideration stage to an end, second deputy speaker Andrew Asiamah disclosed the bill could however be taken through another consideration if need be before final passage after the various amendments are captured into the bill by drafters
Addressing the media after proceedings, lead sponsor of the bill and Ningo-Prampram MP Sam George assured the house will see the process through to its logical conclusion.
Meanwhile there was confusion earlier in Parliamentary during the consideration of the anti-gay bill over appropriate punishment for promoters of LGBTQI+ activities.
The original clause in the bill had 750 penalty units equivalent of not less than GhC9,400 fine or a term of imprisonment of not less than 2 years and penalty units of not more than 2,000 equivalent of GhC24,000 or a term of imprisonment of 4 years.
However, concerns over the length of the custodial sentence compelled the House to reduce the penalty units to not less than 50, equivalent of GhC600 or a term of imprisonment of not less than 3 months and a fine of not more than 100 penalty units equivalent of GhC1,200 or a term of imprisonment not more than 6 months.
The amendment after it was moved by lead sponsor of the bill and Ningo-Prampram MP Sam George was opposed by Effutu MP and Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin insisting the custodial punishment is too harsh.
The Ningo-Prampram MP however argued a softer punishment regime will fail to serve as a deterrent and make mockery of the entire bill.
After back and forth the House finally by voice vote settled on a fine of not less than 750 penalty units, equivalent of GhC9,400 or a term of imprisonment of not less than 2 months and not more than 4 months.