Anti-gay bill: Secret voting wouldn’t have been necessary, says Akoloh

Parliament on Wednesday (28 February) passed the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill (anti-LGBTQ+)

Clement Akoloh, the communications officer for Parliamentary Network Africa, countered suggestions that the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2022 should have undergone a parliamentary vote via secret ballot.

The bill, which stirred significant public debate, was passed without any Members of Parliament (MPs) opposing it, prompting speculation that there should have been a secret ballot to ensure impartiality.

Speaking on the Big Bulletin on Wednesday (28 February), Akoloh disagreed with this viewpoint, asserting his confidence in the integrity of the parliamentary process.

He expressed his belief that MPs who supported the bill did so conscientiously, without the need for secrecy in voting.

“Yes, there is some controversy surrounding this particular bill, but I believe that all the people who have voted in favour of this particular bill did so knowing very well that they are doing something that their conscience will serve. I think that Members of Parliament are right-thinking people who, if they had the opportunity to express themselves, would have expressed it.” Akoloh remarked.

Furthermore, Akoloh highlighted the transparency of parliamentary proceedings, citing instances where MPs openly voiced concerns about specific provisions of the bill.

He pointed to the example of then-Deputy Majority Leader and MP for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, who advocated for a reconsideration of the bill, advocating for community service over imprisonment as punishment.

“There are people who have expressed some concerns about some portions of the bill and they said so freely and they made their intentions known that they are against some particular aspects of the bill … I feel that the people who had really something to say about the bill had already said it …”

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