Controversy in Parliament: Anti-Gay Bill Amendment: Minimum 6-Month Sentence Approved by Parliament.

Anti-Gay bill gets approved by the parliament of Ghana.

Recently, there has been a significant development in Parliament regarding the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, commonly known as the anti-gay bill. The latest amendment, proposed by Sam George, a co-sponsor of the bill, has stirred considerable debate and controversy. This amendment introduces stricter penalties for individuals who aid, facilitate, encourage, or promote LGBTQ activities.

Under this amendment, individuals found guilty of promoting LGBTQ activities could face imprisonment for a period ranging from three to six months, or alternatively, they could be fined an amount ranging from GH₵600 to GH₵1200. Sam George, advocating for the amendment, argues that such stringent measures are crucial to ensure compliance with the law once it is enacted. He believes that the threat of imprisonment or hefty fines will act as a deterrent against engaging in LGBTQ-related activities.

However, not everyone in Parliament is in favor of this amendment. Alexander Afenyo-Markin, the Deputy Majority Leader, has expressed his opposition, citing concerns about the potential negative consequences of imposing custodial sentences. He argues that incarcerating individuals not only imposes financial burdens on the state but also raises questions about the effectiveness of imprisonment as a deterrent. Afenyo-Markin suggests that a shorter custodial sentence, ranging from one to three months, would be more appropriate.

Additionally, Afenyo-Markin emphasizes the importance of retaining the option of paying a fine instead of serving a jail sentence. He believes that allowing individuals to opt for a fine instead of imprisonment can help alleviate overcrowding in prisons and expedite the judicial process through plea bargains. He urges his colleagues in Parliament to consider the implications of removing the option of fines entirely, emphasizing the need for flexibility in sentencing.

In summary, the recent amendment to the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill has sparked a heated debate in Parliament, with proponents arguing for stricter penalties and opponents raising concerns about the efficacy and fairness of such measures. The final decision on the anti-gay bill amendment remains to be seen as Parliament continues to deliberate on this contentious issue.

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