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Anti-gay bill yet to be submitted to Akufo-Addo – Afenyo-Markin

Alexander Afenyo-Markin, the Majority Leader in Parliament, has clarified that the Human Sexual Rights and Family Values Bill, commonly known as the anti-gay bill, has not yet been submitted to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his assent.

Afenyo-Markin explained that the drafting department of Parliament is currently in the process of compiling the bill.

The final draft will then be presented to the sponsors for their review and subsequent authentication by the Clerk to Parliament, initiating the necessary procedural steps.

This clarification comes amidst public interest and discussions surrounding the bill, But Mr Afenyo-Markin emphasized that it is still undergoing internal parliamentary processes before reaching the President’s desk for potential approval.

“There’s some seeming pressure on the presidency regarding the anti-LGBTQ+ parliament passed. Well, the process is that when the bill is passed in Parliament, it must first be compiled by the drafting department in Parliament. As we speak, as the leader of the house, I can say on authority that we’ve not completed the process. The bill is yet to be sent to the president for signing.

“So the public needs to know this so that a certain impression is not created out there that Parliament has submitted the bill into the presidency and all. Nothing has moved to the presidency.

“Mr Speaker is yet to receive the authenticated bill, the clerk to the parliament himself has not yet seen it, and the drafting department is still compiling, I have been chasing it myself and they said it will require some time because a lot of changes were done.”

On Wednesday, February 28, 2024, Parliament approved the bill that criminalizes LGBTQ+ activities, as well as their promotion, advocacy, and funding.

Those found guilty could face a jail term ranging from 6 months to 3 years, while those promoting and sponsoring the act could face a jail term between 3 to 5 years.

However, the Ministry of Finance is pleading with President Akufo-Addo not to assent to the recently passed anti-LGBTQ bill by Parliament.

In a press release on Monday, March 4, the Finance Ministry cautioned that approving the bill could result in significant financial consequences for Ghana.

According to the Finance Ministry’s statement, Ghana stands to lose a substantial amount of World Bank financing, estimating a potential loss of USD$3.8 billion over the next five to six years.

Specifically, the impact for 2024 includes a loss of USD$600 million in budget support and USD$250 million for the Financial Stability Fund, adversely affecting Ghana’s foreign exchange reserves and exchange rate stability.

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