Parliament will pass Anti-Gay Bill despite Afenyo-Markin’s intervention, says Akoloh

Despite Alexander Afenyo-Markin’s intervention, Clement Akoloh of Parliamentary Network Africa says he believes that MPs are resolved to pass the controversial Anti-Gay Bill

The communications officer for Parliamentary Network Africa, Clement Akoloh, says he is still optimistic that Parliament remains committed to passing the Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill 2022, commonly known as the “Anti-Gay Bill” or the “Anti-LGBTQ Bill”, despite the MP for Effutu and Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin’s obstruction of the third reading of the bill.

According to Akoloh, who was speaking on The Big Bulletin on Asaase 99.5 Accra on Thursday (15 February), the House is keen to pass the bill in a manner that resonates with the broader Ghanaian population.

“The House is resolved to actually pass the bill and ensure that it is passed in a way that it will kind of appease Ghanaians,” Akoloh said. “We also know that Ghanaians have some kind of position on the bill, judging from some of the research that has been made, that Ghanaians are for it.

“If you look at what Parliament is supposed to do, it’s supposed to speak the mind of the people. So, if the people have spoken that way, then you’ll expect that then Parliament would have a way to kind of reflect the minds of Ghanaians. So it is expected that it will pass at the end of it all,” he said.

Second consideration

On Thursday (15 February), Afenyo-Markin appealed to the Speaker of Parliament for a second consideration of the bill.

He argued that although he does not oppose the bill entirely, he advocates amendments substituting imprisonment with community service. He also said that his call to revisit the legislation seeks to provide ample time for the House to deliberate his proposed amendments thoroughly.

Commenting further on this development, Clement Akoloh expressed little surprise at the delay in passing the controversial bill and emphasised the inherent complexities of the legislative process.

The nature of lawmaking is non-linear, Akoloh said, acknowledging that revisiting specific clauses for further examination is standard practice to ensure alignment with social values.

“Parliamentary procedures follow some rules, and some procedures sound a bit tautological,” he said, “but that is how it is. It is not a straight line; it will get to a point [when] somebody will bring an issue and say that, ‘This particular place, we didn’t look at it well. Can we go back and look at it?’

“In this particular case, Hon Afenyo-Markin is coming for a second consideration of the bill, which means that where they left off, they have come back to it. So, it is not a straight line; so, it is normal in lawmaking; so, it is expected that it will happen.”

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