Parliament approves up to 6-month jail term for promoting LGBTQ activities.

Individuals who help, enable, encourage, or promote LGBTQ acts may be sentenced to six months in prison or less.

The amendment was presented by bill co-sponsor Sam George, who feels that strong penalty is required to ensure compliance after the law is approved.

The proposed measure penalises people who promote LGBTQ activities with a minimum penalty of three months and a maximum of six months, as well as a fine ranging from GH₵600 to GH₵1200.

Speaking in Parliament, Sam George said that, “for me, even the GH₵600 is a bargain because it aims to prevent lengthy custodial sentences. However, judges retain the discretion to impose fines, imprisonment, or both. Therefore, I believe that GH₵600 to GH₵1200, or a minimum of three months and a maximum of six months, will serve as an adequate deterrent.”

However, Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin rejected the measure, arguing for a three-month jail term.

He stated that incarceration not only costs the state money, but that studies have shown that those who go to jail end up worse off once they are released.

Also addressing parliament, Mr Afenyo-Markin noted that, “we should rather look at one month and three months, instead of three months and six months. Yes, if the commensurate penalty unit cannot be defined within the context of the proposal which is two months and four months, then we should not go higher.”

On fine, he added “the court has a position on sentencing. It’s the reason why we have now introduced this plea bargain thing. The plea bargain in law that we have enacted is also aimed at dealing with some of these things.

“In even serious criminal matters if the person is ready to pay to deal with the issue of the time for the trial and all, and also depopulate our prisons,” they are allowed the option of a fine.

He emphasized the importance of retaining the option of a fine, stating, “this parliament must not depart from that. So please colleagues, we cannot do away with a fine. And we should not attempt to say that merely being guilty of this should lead to imprisonment without an option for a fine. Let’s be careful.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *