Sodomy Concerns Emerge: Ghana Lawmaker Opposes Jailing LGBT Offenders


Sodomy Concerns Emerge:

In Accra, a Ghanaian legislator has urged parliament to replace imprisonment for homosexual acts with non-custodial alternatives, including counseling. This proposal comes in response to an anti-LGBT bill currently progressing through the legislative process. The legislation, sponsored by a coalition of Christian, Muslim, and Ghanaian traditional leaders, is widely supported by lawmakers and could impose up to 10 years in prison for promoting LGBT rights.


Presently, Ghana penalizes gay sex with a maximum sentence of three years in prison. Lawmaker Alexander Afenyo-Markin from the ruling party argued on Thursday that incarcerating individuals for LGBT-related offenses might exacerbate the issue by encouraging such behavior within prisons. He suggested that imprisonment could “worsen homosexuality and its promotion” in Ghana, contrary to the original intent of the bill.


The bill, near its final stage of becoming law, also advocates for individuals accused of homosexuality to undergo conversion therapy in exchange for reduced sentences. Afenyo-Markin, the deputy leader of the ruling party in parliament, expressed support for the bill but called for a reform-minded and humane approach, stating that imprisonment is ineffective in addressing a “behavioral problem.”


The LGBT community in Ghana already faces widespread abuse and hostility, and the proposed legislation has heightened concerns among activists. While some members of parliament opposed the proposal for non-custodial sentences, the bill received approval for another reading, providing an opportunity for amendments.


Ultimately, the bill requires presidential consent to become effective. President Nana Akufo-Addo stated last year that he would come in at the end of the process but has not explicitly indicated whether he would sign it. The promoters aim to have the bill, considered one of the harshest in Africa towards the LGBT community, passed by March.


Related Posts

Illuminating the Promise of Africa.

Receive captivating stories direct to your inbox that reveal the cultures, innovations, and changemakers shaping the continent.