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Anti-LGBTQI bill: Attempt to replace custodial sentencing with community service is strange – Lawmaker

The attempt to replace custodial sentencing with community service in the anti-gay bill is totally strange, one of the sponsors of the anti-gay bill, Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampam, Samuel Nartey George, has said.

He accused Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin who is making the effort to replace the causational sentencing with community service of seeking to destroy the bill.

This was after Mr Afenyo-Markin succeeded in blocking the third reading of the Anti-LGBTQ bill.

But for his intervention, the controversial bill would have been passed.

He contended that although he is not against the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values bill, he is opposed to the provision that would lead to the imprisonment of individuals accused of engaging in or promoting LGBTQ activities.

“The essence of this motion is to afford this House the opportunity to thoroughly consider amendments that are proposed in the bill with the view of substituting community service for incarceration,” Afenyo-Markin explained.

He noted that the punitive nature of the bill will not facilitate rehabilitation of the culprits.

“The issue before us is behavioral, and it is my humble view that in dealing with behavioural matters, incarceration is not the solution. It makes the matter worse” the Efutu MP pointed out.

“To jail a person for his/her sexuality will not be the solution in maintaining our Ghanaian family values and ensuring proper human sexual rights,” he stressed.

But Sam Nartey George described Afenyo-Markin’s contention as baseless.

Speaking on the News 360 on TV3 Thursday Febraury 15, he said “Deputy Majority Leader, his comments today are not new to the house. Last week Wednesday he spent about an hour and  15 minutes making the same submission,  last week Thursday he did about another hour on the same subject, last week Wednesday when he made his submission there was a vote of of the house and his motion was defeated.

“Last week Thursday his motion was defeated.  Today, when he made his submission against the amendment it was defeated. It is a comment of no value and of no substance  to the bill because what he is seeking to do is to destroy the essence of the bill.”

“The attempt to take away the custodial sentencing from this bill and replace it with community service is not just strange by the Deputy Majority Leader but it is actually an attempt to kill the bill. I am happy that in the three instances, he has been raising the issues, he has been standing alone as the house collectively, both the majority and the minority, voted against him,” he added.

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